Foraging Ramble Returns For Autumn Walk Scilly

rachel lambertIslanders and visitors will be taught how to feed themselves for free as part of the second Walk Scilly event, taking place next month.

The walk is being led by West Cornwall-based foraging expert Rachel Lambert.

Rachel says Scilly has a great range of edible plants available. In spring, that means lovely, leafy greens, while in autumn, people taking part in the first-ever September walking festival might be surprised by the very potent and spicy seeds that are around, like wild carrot.

She says every island offers slightly different plants, but a particularly favourite for her are the kelp beds on St Agnes.

The interest in foraging continues to increase, says Rachel, but there’s a long way to go before it’s mainstream. That means people are still excited about it and enjoy coming along on the walks.

She tends to focus on about eight plants during each session – about the right number for people to go away and identify them later on their own, she says.

Rachel steers away from picking mushrooms and fungi because she feels that’s a very specialist area, but she says care is still needed. Some plants, like hemlock water dropwort, which looks similar to parsley, is potentially fatal.

That’s why it’s important to learn properly how to identify what’s good and bad, she says.

Rachel feels it would be difficult to live off foraging alone “unless you wanted to get very thin” but she feels it can reduce the amount of shop-bought food while adding some unusual flavours to dishes.

And that will be the challenge for Euan Rodger from Tanglewood Kitchen, who’s agreed to create a meal for the walkers from the food picked that day.

Rachel admitted she’ll probably give him a “heads up” so he’s not sweating too much on the day!

The walk starts at 1.30pm on Friday 19th September. You can get a full programme for Walk Scilly here.