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Fruitful Months For Survival Skills

Monday, 11th August 2008

Fruitful Months For Survival Skills

There are three survival schools operating from within The National Forest area that run day, weekend or week-long courses.  These teach visitors not only the fundamental principles of survival and wilderness bushcraft, but also how to identify and cook edible plants, recognise specific trees and discover uses for different plants and trees - helping visitors get to grips with the differences and similarities between harmless edible species found in the Forest and their poisonous cousins!

Jason Ingamells, chief instructor of Woodland Ways Survival School said: "The National Forest is a great place for people to come and ‘experience’ woodland. It is brilliant to be based within this growing Forest and our courses not only teach people to use the plants and trees but also to appreciate the woodland around them.

“If visitors are looking for wild food, it is important to identify the plants correctly. There are many books now on the topic of edible plant identification but, for the novice, there is really no substitute for an experienced guide.”

Visitors to woodlands during the months running into Autumn will discover trees laden with edible delights.  Among those currently to be found are blackcurrant, gooseberry, redcurrant, wild rose flower, lime blossom, green walnuts, raspberry and mushrooms.  These can be used in traditional recipes such as rose petal jam, lime blossom tea and walnut pickle.

Throughout August fortunate Forest foragers can find a veritable feast including wild strawberries, blackberries, hazelnuts and elderberries.  But in September, the number of different ripe species almost doubles with fungi, fruits and nuts, such as beech nuts, bilberry, bramble, hawthorn berries, juniper and rosehip, ready for picking.

But if foraging seems all too much like hard work, there is a wealth of excellent tea shops and restaurants across The National Forest where you can relax and enjoy food in the Forest before embarking on a peaceful woodland walk.

Penny Wilkinson, from the National Forest Company commented:  “The National Forest has this wonderful woodland resource for people to come and enjoy – whether to learn ancient skills or just to enjoy the fresh air and get away from it all on a Forest walk.”

There is a huge range of outdoor activities available across The National Forest to encourage people to get out and enjoy the new and ancient woodlands, such as guided walks to identify trees and wildlife, conservation activities, as well as walking, cycling and horse-riding, The National Forest website has a whole host of ideas to enjoy the great outdoors.

For more information on where to go, what to see and places to stay in and around The National Forest, the 2008 visitor guides to the Forest are bursting with great ideas. For a copy telephone 01283 551211, or Contact us.

Contact information

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Carol Rowntree Jones

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Media Relations Officer

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01283 551 211

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or use the contact us form.