Going Cuckoo Again

It was a pleasure going back to Hailsham for the second wild food walk for the Hailsham Trust. Becci and I were doing the walks for free and the Trust was making a donation to Craggers. It had been five weeks since our last foray and we hadn’t done a recce before this one – what would we find of interest, would there still be enough wild edibles to keep everyone engaged? We met up with the foragers at the Trust building at 10am. and set off so see what we could find. Again there was a high level of knowledge amongst the group about plants in general and we were able to swap information. We need not have worried about the plants on offer. Many of the plants from the previous month had passed their sell by date but were still recognisable, others had come into flower making identification easier and yet others had made their first appearance. So we were still able to nibble as we walked (taking care to only harvest plants above dog peeing height) introducing people to many new tastes. And it was not just the goodies we were able to point out; the Cuckoo Trail harboured a surprising amount of hemlock water dropwort, one of this country’s most poisonous plants. We stopped for a bite of lunch before completing the final leg of our wild food hunt, recapping on things we had seen and answering lots of questions. Everyone said they had had a great time and had learned a lot. We will be doing more foraging expeditions in the autumn, probably in the woods this time, concentrating on fungi, nuts and berries. Come with us.