When we were approached by the Hailsham Trust to run some foraging days for their clients we were delighted. It seemed like a great way to both promote Craggers and to help get families outdoors. Our only worry was would we be able to find enough wild food to make it interesting for everyone.
Becci and I did a recce the week before and discovered that the Cuckoo Trail, which follows a disused railway line, was accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. Great, it was on.
The Trust would do the publicity, pay our travel expenses and make a small donation to Craggers. I provided them with a list of plants we might find and we were amused to discover that, according to the posters, we would be looking for ‘Hogwarts’. It seems that the spellchecker (very appropriate) decided to change hogweed into the famous, fictional wizarding school.
Weather can be all important, so it was great that the sun decided to shine for us on the day. We met the budding foragers, 12 of them, outside the Hailsham Trust building.
There was a good range of experience and age spread and they all seemed excited about the three hour planned walk. And did we find enough wild edibles to keep people interested? Yes, 38 different wild foods. We had proved that there really is such a thing as a free lunch.
The group went home with new knowledge and the inspiration to find out more.
We are planning another walk in May and a couple in September.