Tree hugging
Blog, Lifestyle

If you go down to the woods today

It’s beautiful out there! Spring is finally springing. We went for a walk yesterday and the trees were starting to bud, the wild garlic is emerging and the snowdrops are in bloom.

We had a cold snap earlier this month and after a ‘snow day’ I was fed up of the three inches of white stuff that had landed in our back garden and was desperate to get out. Thankfully it had all melted a couple of days later and normal service had resumed.

So, yesterday when we had a sunny day…the sunniest of sunny days I have seen in weeks, I was desperate to go for a walk.

Anyone who knows me will know that I have very little sense of direction and regularly get lost, leading me to often use the saying that ‘not all those who wander are lost’. That’s basically me excusing my shoddy map reading skills. When I walk I look for landmarks to show me the way home. I like to think of it as being adventurous, but I imagine most adventurers know roughly where they want to go.

Anyhow, blessed with this beautiful day and fabulous sunshine we ventured down an unexplored (by us at least) public footpath that led through a small copse and onto farmland where there were spectacular views. I got excited about all the different things that we might be able to forage for when they come into season; wild garlic, baby nettles, sweet chestnuts, blackberries and more.

I’m a little nervous about foraging and will only pick things when I know 100% what they are. It is also important that you only pick what you need and never take things that you shouldn’t e.g. farmers crops, endangered species of plants, or anything poisonous. If you’re not sure what it is, please don’t take it home and eat it. You can get some great foraging books to guide you; I like Food For Free by Richard Mabey.

On our return route I took the opportunity to stop and hug a tree. This is something that my Mum encourages the kids to do. I think that it’s an act that is probably meant to ground you and reinforce your connection with nature. Frankly, I felt a little bit silly, but I was in awe of how big the tree was, and how old it must be.

This, probably brief, improvement in the weather has made me very excited about my plans for the allotment. My partner asked me this week what I wanted for my birthday in a couple of weeks and I said that I’d like some miniature apple trees. Which makes me sound easy to please.

I’d love to hear about your recent adventures and any recommendations that you have for places to explore in your area.

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