October Walk

A little violet purple mushroom growing of a rotten log

After an unscheduled and over extended summer break Edible Landscape finally got out with a fungi focused walk last Sunday. Having bemoaned the general lack of fruits a fungal flush creped up on me and forced a last minute call for participants. In Parish and Old hill woods we found the best avoided Magpie Ink cap, Clouded Agaric, and honey fungus, as well as a bunch of unidentified numbers. The Amethyst Deceiver, despite it’s slightly ominous sounding name is good to eat if you can find enough of the often small deep purple mushrooms. I include a photo of the … read more

EL#6 July – Feral Fruits

On July’s Edible Landscape outing we spotted various ‘feral’ fruits – feral as in once domesticated but now gone wild. Gooseberries and red currents are considered native wild woodland species and you do find the odd specimen in the woods around Chalford. But then, more often than not these are likely to be escaped cultivated varieties. these can be seedlings spread by thieving birds but also when you find such examples a closer inspection of the apparently wild location will often reveal the remains of a dwelling, the outline of stone wall in the undergrowth, indicating that the woodland thicket … read more

EL#3 Springs, Water and Spring Time Fungi


Edible Landscape number three started off from the Tankards Spring in Chalford High street. Although the water levels in the river had been very low since the previous winter and other seasonal springs in the valley had sunk back into the ground already, Tankard Spring continued as it does with hardly any variation in it’s flow. We looked at a variety of edibles that grow in or beside water including Water Mint, Brook Lime and Water Cress. Also the peppery lady’s smock, or cuckoo flower (not to be confused with Cuckoo pint) was in flower (see below left). Unfortunately by … read more

EL#2 The Wood, the Trees and Rising Sap

Tapping Birch Sap

  The second walk of the year looked at leafless tree identification and covered some interesting folk lore relating to particular tree species. The highlight of the March walk was a chance to witness the tapping of a birch tree and to try some fresh birch sap. Here is one of the trees in the valley that I tapped. A 1 inch hole was drilled through the outer bark of the tree and my improvised sap spigot tapped into the tree. My spigot was fashioned from a piece of aluminium tubing that fitted onto my one inch pvc tubing. This … read more

EL#1 winter bones

The first EL walk of 2012, Winter Bones, was a bit of an expedition in the sub zero conditions. But the clear skies and covering of snow was just what I was hoping for. Mid-winter is a great time to consider the basics of any landscape – the underlying structures, the rocks and soils that everything else develops from.  When the leaves and undergrowth are at a minimum, and the valley is sketched out in the monochrome colours of snow or frost, and a low sun picks out every bump and ripple – this is when the bones of the … read more