This list is still being currently being developed but aims to serve as a handy reminder of some of the main things covered in a session, or it can serve as a taster if you are thinking about doing this activity. Check out the list of books and resources that will help you to develop your interest further. Don't forget the easiest way to learn is to get out there in nature! There is more information in the Flora & Fauna pages.
Great wild foods to look out for - BUT if in doubt leave it out!
- Common Sorrel and Wood Sorrel
- Pignut (the one you dig for, great fun and really tasty but ensure nut is joined to stem at an angle so not to confuse it with bluebell bulbs which are poisonous)
- Pine needle tea - you can use spruce, Scots Pine and Douglas fir. NOT yew!!
- Silver birch sap - bush-man's tea, or wash your hair in it!
- Stinging nettles - Tea, soup, loads of uses great for boosting immunity and loads of iron. Also use the stems to make a thread.
Fungi - no edibility tests!
- Birch polypore - or razor strop fungi as it can help sharpen a knife. Antiseptic so can be used on open wounds, you can even make a handy plaster from it. Found on dead or dying silver birch.
- Hoof Fungi - or tinder bracket as it makes excellent tinder for fire, also found on dead or dying silver birch.
Shelter, Kit and Fire Lighting
If you are lost and help isn't coming, then it may be wise to try and find the nearest road (which is never far in Britain). If you don't have a compass then you need to make an educated guess as to a direction to travel but you need to make sure you follow this same direction as much as possible to avoid going around in circles! Remember the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
- Sun - is in the southern part of the sky in Britain and around midday will show you roughly South. If you do have a watch you can aim the hour hand at the sun and dissect the difference between the hour hand and 12 O'clock, this will show you South. You can also use sun-sticks by marking the end of a shadow cast, waiting a few minutes and doing it again. The line of the two shadow markers is an East/West line with South being the side of the sun.
- Wind - generally blows south-westerly but can depend on valleys, hills, trees and the changeable British weather! Spiders tend to like to make their webs on the north-east side of plants.
- Nature - Trees and plants generally lean south and you can measure the rings on sawn tree stumps, where they are at their widest would indicate South, again just a clue depending on surroundings.
- Stars - prop a stick and point it at a star, wait a few minutes to see which way the star or sky is moving. If the star is moving down you are pointing West, moving up you are pointing East, moving left you are pointing South, moving right you are pointing North.
- Moon - a crescent moon whether it's waxing or waning can be used to estimate South by imagining a line from the top to the bottom of the points of the moon all the way down to the earth and can be done throughout the night.