It’s finally March – and the sap is rising. Our Scottish grown Nordmann Fir trees are growing nicely, getting ready to grace your home for Christmas 2019.
March is also a month of celebration of the forest – and Thursday 21st March is International Day of Forests. On this day every year since 2012, global events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations.
Sadly, each year, an area roughly the size of England is lost. This loss affects not just the flora and fauna who depend on forests for survival, this massive loss contributes to climate change and global warming.
How can you celebrate International Day of Forests on 21st March?
Forests can be enjoyed year round – there’s always something to see and enjoy – the sights, sounds and smells of the forests have a positive impact on mental and physical health, a subject we covered in this recent blog post about Shinrin-yoku, or the Japanese art of forest bathing. But how about some forest foraging?
Fancy some forest foraging?
Foraging is a great activity for the whole family – and, with the right guidance and adult supervision, you can eat what you find. March sees the start of the annual nature’s bounty, and the Woodland Trust have all the information you need to forage safely and responsibly. Here are some of the main things to remember before you go foraging in the forest – and if it’s private land, seek permission from the landowner first.
Know what you’re picking
Fungus can be particularly hard to identify, so take great care what you pick – and never consume wild plants or fungi unless you are absolutely sure about what it is and whether it’s edible. Some are deadly poisonous. Get a good guide book or go on an organised fungi forage. If in doubt, don’t pick it.
Only collect from plentiful populations
There are many beautiful plants and fungi in the forest, some of which are protected or rare – so don’t pick from fungi that haven’t opened its gills and had a chance to drop its spores – you’d be reducing its opportunity to grow and spread.
Leave plenty behind
Wild food is vital for the survival of wildlife, so don’t pick too much, and certainly, no more than you need.
Take care not to do any damage to the area you are collecting from. And pick with care, avoid damaging roots and the forest floor, which may be home for some woodland creatures.
Happy Foraging from Crimbotrees!
Further advice and information:
Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland
Forestry Commission – New Forest Fungi Code Q and As
Scottish Natural Heritage – Scottish Wild Mushroom Code
British Mycological Society