Although nowadays we get most, if not all, of our food from shops, foraging is a very rewarding activity. It takes us out into nature, and connects us with our local environment and species where we learn how to identify different plants and the animals that also feed on those plants, or live nearby. However, free food from the countryside must be done responsibly.
Learn how to identify some of the most commonly foraged plants
A lot of different plants produce berries and other fruits that are suitable for human consumption. The most well-known are blackberries (from bramble) and sloes (from blackthorn). These recipes share a variety of ways to use berries, including infusing spirits, making syrups and in baking.
A nut is actually a fruit, where there is a tough external shell protecting an edible kernel. Edible nuts include sweet chestnut, hazelnut butter and walnuts.
The most versatile and well-known flowers for foraging are elderflower (particularly for elderflower cordial) and dandelion, but here we also share recipes for gorse and wild rose flowers.
The leaves of plants are typically used in soups (particularly where the leaves need to be broken down before becoming edible, such as for nettle), pestos, salads and teas.