Foraging Guide – How to Make the Most of the Hedgerows
Foraging Guide – How to Make the Most of the Hedgerows
Garden, Guides

Foraging Guide – How to Make the Most of the Hedgerows

Foraging generally refers to the acquisition of hunting and identifying food resources in the wild, including herbs, fruits, mushrooms, nuts, or even shellfish.

Over the last few years, foraging for wild food has increased in demand, which later became a popular activity for some Brits and a complete lifestyle for others.

This growing popularity is great as it brings about awareness, so now eating organic and using local ingredients is rising as a result.

But foraging is not just about the consumption of wild food, it is also about preserving and eating healthy and nutritious food while understanding more about our natural environment.

Foraging Food in the UK

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While foraging for food is legal in the UK, it’s not allowed for commercial purposes. They only allow if for individual consumption, or to enjoy food hunting with family and friends.

Another thing about this method is that it should be done only on personal or private land with permissions. Or in common land like woods, forests, parks, fields, hedgerows, to name a few.

Foraging may allow you to search and collect foods in the wild, but it doesn’t mean that you can get all the foods you see.

Be mindful that it’s crucial to take only the food you will eat, as animals also need to find sustenance for themselves.

Hedgerows in the UK

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For many years, Brits would turn to the hedgerows to pickle and prepare foods to get through winter. And as the temperature starts to drop, Brits are encouraged to head to the hedgerows and take advantage of some autumn fruits.

But before you try your hand at foraging, you must be aware of poisonous plants and wild mushrooms that might be lurking around.

To help you make the most out of your hedgerows, here are five of the best fruits you can add on your list, completely plastic- and cost-free.

Foraging Guide – How to Make the Most of the Hedgerows

Some of the best items that made our list may also appear at the bottom of your garden. So peer into those hedges and trees for something to nibble on.

Rose Hips

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These seedpods of roses are used as medicine as they are packed with vitamins A and C, and fibre, helping you fulfil your recommended daily vitamin intake.

Not only that but rose hips can also be used as a tasty cordial, syrup, jam or jelly.

Sweet Chestnuts

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A traditional forager’s treat, a sweet chestnut can be easily spotted because of their husk, which is spiny and needle-sharp.

They work well with sausages and can be turned into a fantastic stuffing. Sweet chestnuts can also be pureed to serve, an excellent alternative to mashed potatoes.

Also, they can be an excellent substitute for flour when making desserts as well! Just make sure they are blitzed into fine crumbs first..

Chickweed

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A medicinal plant and a perfect addition to green salads, chickweed can be found in many of Britain’s gardens and hedgerows. They also can survive in the colder months.

Popular with chickens hence the name, chickweed can be whizzed into a pesto. Or you can add the whole plant to your favourite salad dish.

Sloes

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The prickly stems on sloe plants can put many people off from foraging it. But it’s no doubt that this purple fruit still deserves some spot on your basket, particularly if you like to drink.

The most famous sloe recipe is sloe gin. To achieve this, put plenty of sloes into gin with some sugar, leave for as long as possible. The longer the sloes are left, the stronger the flavour will be.

Also, it should be stored in a cool, dark place and be shaken every couple of days, then sieved before serving.

Brambles

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Brambles, or blackberries, can be found in lots of hedgerows. However, the best-flavoured ones will be located away from polluted areas like main roads.

They can be turned into a warming pie or crumble for a dessert. Or can also act as a refreshing snack on winter walks.

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