30th. April – 1st. May 2016 Seven Sisters Walk and Friston Forest Bivi

At the end of a perfect day we set up camp in woodland carpeted with the bright white stars of strawberries and the opulence of purple dog violets.

We still had time to play and one of the games was sitting still and silent and listening to sounds of the wood. Who would have thought that kids would have been able to stay silent and still for such a long time.

Eating a well deserved dinner we faced west where the fresh green of new beech leaves stood out against the deep pink of sunset.

The day had started with 14 of us (the youngest not quite three years old) walking from Friston pond towards the famous white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. It was not long before the vista suddenly opened up and Jirshari said “Look you can clearly sea the curvature of the Earth.”

A lot of walking for kids you might think but the reward for struggling up one side of a Sister meant that they could roll down the other side – fantastic.

The kids lead us down a scramble to reach the sea at Cuckmere Haven. At the visitor centre café, enjoying overpriced drinks we bade farewell to some of the group before the overnighters headed off to the forest.

Being spring we ate our fill of free food on the way. These are some of the plants we snacked on:

Marsh Thistle Circium palustra

Primrose Primula vulgaris

Ground ivy Glechoma hederacea

Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium

Ground elder Aegopodium podagraria

Herb Bennet Geum urbanum, also known as wood avens, colewort

Stinging nettle Urtica dioica

White dead nettle Lamium album

Hedge garlic Alliaria petiolata

Beech leaves Fagus sylvatica

Hawthorn leaves Crataegus monogyna

Cowslip Primula veris

Alexanders Smyrniumalusatrum

Three cornered leek Allium triquetrum                                                                            Gorse Ulex europaeus

 

We also looked at these but didn’t get round to eating them

 

Lesser celandine,Ficaria verna,

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale

Burdock,Arctium lappa

Plantain Plantago major & lanceolata

Cleavers Galium aparine

Blackthorn Prunus spinosa

Wild strawberry Fragaria vesca

Dog violet Viola riviniara

Cow parsley Anthriscus sylvestris

Herb Robert Geranium robertianum

Comfrey Symphytum officinale

Silverweed Potentilla arserina

 

On Sunday morning, after a great nights sleep, we had a leisurely breakfast  and then Brae showed us how to safely use a knife and saw.

All that remained was to take a beautiful route past the Westdean pond and back to the visitors centre to catch the bus back to Brighton.

Hope to see you all on the next walk.

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