A Forage in the Wye Valley

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to live somewhere else. I find bits and pieces of interest near where I live, but there re much richer environments out there. My wife took me away to Ross-on-Wye for the weekend (she knows I love the Wye Valley), and we went for a walk along the Wye, just South of Symonds Yat.

If you’ve read any of my posts before, you’ll see that I find a few things of interest each time I go out to look for stuff to forage. In one 2 hour walk in the Wye valley, I saw more than in all the other posts put together.

Wye Valley Fungus

Let’s start with the fungus:

Fungus in March in the Wye Valley

Wye Valley Tree Recognition

Of the many trees in this impressive forest, I could positively identify:

  • Weeping Willow – Bark of new shoots can be used for pain relief.
  • Elder – Flowers and berries are great foraging.
  • Ash – Can be good for making tools because it’s strong and doesn’t splinter easily.
  • Silver Birch – Home to Birch Polypore and Chaga fungus.
  • Alder – The bark contains an anti-inflammatory.

Tree Identification in March in the Wye Valley

I know I should have been able to do more, but I’m still learning (and I didn’t want to spend too long looking things up instead of walking!)

Wye Valley Plants

  • Dog’s Mercury – Poisonous, but worth knowing as it often grows alongside Wild Garlic.
  • Lords & Ladies (Arum Maculatum) – Again, poisonous, but worth knowing as it often grows alongside Wild Garlic.
  • Wild Garlic – A pungent leaf, very garlicky and very tasty.
  • Cleavers – AKA Sticky Willies, fresh leaves are edible as a salad item. Dried seed balls can make a coffee-like drink.
  • Nettles – Stingers are horrible, but a very versatile and nutritious leaf vegetable.
  • Chickweed – Another plant whose young shoots are a nice salad leaf.
  • Bracken – Useful for tinder and for shelter covering.
  • White Flowering Dead Nettle – Not of the same family as stinging nettles, but can be used in food the same way.
  • Snow Drops – Poisonous, but pretty and an indication of the start of spring.
  • Wild Clematis – The winter seed fluff can be useful for fire lighting.
  • Crow Garlic – Garlic flavoured herb. – http://www.foundfood.com/crow-garlic/
  • Alexanders – Wild vegetable.
  • Daisies – Leaves are good in salads.
  • Bramble – In the autumn could be full of blackberries.
  • Hart’s Tongue Ferns – Historically used for medicinal purposes, but unclear as to whether it’s edible or not, so not then.

Plant ID in March in the Wye Valley

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