Foraging is the activity of searching, finding and harvesting wild food provisions. If you’re brand new to foraging, why not take a walk to your local woodland and see how many plants you can identify? If you’re ready to pick the plants, foraging is great for outdoor exercise and getting fresh air, connecting with nature, and you get to add to your meals for no cost!
The bonus of foraging is that your findings are free, the warning is that your findings could be fatal. To avoid dangerous picks, follow our June foraging guide to identify plants and get your hands on some safe salad additions.
1) Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)
Yarrow is a wildflower that blooms from June to November. It can be found in all sorts of grasslands, including meadows and even your own back garden. Yarrow has clusters of white flower heads with yellow or pink hues in the centre, resting on long dark green stems with feathery leaves. It was thought that yarrow was used as a charm against bad luck and illness.
2) Wild Strawberries (Fragaria Vesca)
Wild strawberries can be found in woodlands towards the end of spring and are often described as different from the strawberries we cultivate and buy. They often grow in patches and sprout flat top white flowers with a bright yellow middle. The sweet fruit itself is ready to eat from June onwards.
3) Hogweed (Heracleum Sphondylium)
Hogweed is the second most common member of the carrot family and is in season from March to September.It has a brilliant supply of nectar for pollinators, rated in the top 10 for nectar production in UK plants. Common hogweed cannot be mixed up with giant hogweed which has a dangerous sap. The sap of the giant hogweed can give you dangerous burns, so be sure you have hold of common hogweed.
It is recommended to eat them hot, sautéed in butter if you’re feeling fancy.
4) Honey Suckle (Lonicera Periclymenum)
Honeysuckle is a popular plant in the UK and can be found most commonly in woodlands. It begins blooming in June and can be eaten fresh off the stem. Most people just eat the stamens and the nectar for a sweet treat, but the whole bloom can be eaten too. Just make sure to avoid the berries as they are poisonous.
5) Lime Blossom (Tilia Cordata)
Lime blossom has varying names such as linden tree, small-linden, little leaf linden etc. It is a deciduous tree native to the UK and is excellent at producing nectar in abundance, which is great for pollination. It’s actually considered to be one of the main honey plants in Europe, for honeybees. For foragers, Linden leaves can be eaten straight off the tree or used in a salad. It is believed that limes have long been associated with fertility. In France and Switzerland, limes are a symbol of liberty, and the trees were planted to celebrate different battles.
6) Elderflower (Sambucus)
Elderflower has to be one of the most widely known British plants. Used to make anything from cordial to jam, the elderflower is a versatile, widely used plant and has many folk laws written about it. The elder was thought of as a protective tree. It was believed to keep evil spirits from entering the house if grown outside the door and was regarded as very sacred. There is also belief that elderflower has many medicinal properties, dating back to Hippocrates. It’s said now to be used for colds, throat trouble and hay fever.
If finding out about foraging has put you in the mood for nature, why not check out glamping in South Wales? South Wales is a great place for foraging and camping in comfort will really round out the whole experience.