I first became interested in foraging a few years ago when a friend of mine accompanied me on a woodland walk. He was a keen forager and opened my eyes to the wealth of natural resources available on public access land.
West Sussex is heavily wooded, which means it’s perfect for fungi foraging, my main area of interest. There are vast areas of ancient yew woodland in the region and it’s easy to spend a day wandering the forests, looking for edible treats in nature’s larder.
There is also an abundance of wild edible plants here, you just need to know where to look. With easy access to the coast, as a forager you also have sea lettuce, kelp and other coastal plants at your fingertips. A lot of restaurants in West Sussex are starting to feature foraged seaweeds on their meuns, so it’s worth looking out for it when eating out.
If you’re thinking about foraging, it’s really important to take someone with you who knows what they’re looking for. If you pick or eat the wrong thing, it could be really dangerous. Use your common sense and never take too much from the land, these are precious natural habitats and ecosystems that need preserving for future generations. Just like any professional forager, resist the temptation to divulge your foraging spots – they should always be kept a closely guarded secret.