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About

Hello, I’m Gemma, a foraging guide based in Cramlington, Northumberland.

The Cramlington Forager was born after I fell down the rabbit hole that is foraging for wild food. Like so many others, I have strong memories of foraging for blackberries as a child, filling containers of all shapes and sizes and proudly carrying them home to be baked into delicious crumbles and pies. I held tight to this tradition until it was time to share it with my own children and when I saw just how much they enjoyed picking and snacking on fruits from the hedgerows, I began looking at other things we could forage for, and from there my own foraging journey grew and changed my world forever. 

In 2022 I  began offering local foraging courses to challenge the idea that you need to live deep in the countryside to enjoy foraging. We are very fortunate in Northumberland to be surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, woodlands and coastlines, but many of our towns can also boast of beautiful parks, open green spaces and woodlands too and it is foraging here that can often be the most surprising and the most rewarding.

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I encourage people to make as much use of their local green spaces as possible and offer information about the green spaces local to me, and try to show them in a new light. These wild corners are vital natural havens, not just for wildlife but for people as well, giving us space to connect with nature with access to the countryside not always possible. As foragers we are often privy to nature's secrets of all kinds, including changes to seasonal patterns, we may notice new plants have come into the area, or where they have disappeared, and this information can be very useful when it comes to understanding and protecting nature.

 

I post regularly to social media and my blog, where you’ll find information on foraging for wild foods, including how to safely identify them and how to forage sustainably, as well as home crafted plant-based recipes made using wild ingredients. In my own life I try to align my day-to-day with the seasons as much as I can, believing that moving with the ebb and flow of the seasons can benefit us greatly in terms of mental and physical health. I weave seasonal stories in between and alongside my foraging adventures and botanical information, to encourage others to try to do the same in a way which is suitable to modern day living. 

When I'm not foraging, I still like to try and be outdoors as much as I possibly can. Whether that be going for walks through the local woods or along the coast, or working on my allotment which I took on in Spring 2023 and is a constant labour of love and learning, working alongside nature to grow food for my family. I also volunteer with 'The Friends of Doddington Wood', a community group in Cramlington which adopted a small wooded copse right in the heart of the town, which had become a sight for flytipping and anti-social behaviour, and who work to make Doddington Wood an interesting and attractive place for the community and wildlife to enjoy. 

I'm also a proud and active member of the Cramlington WI, where I have been a member since 2021. I have recently taken on the role of a WI Climate Ambassador as part of the Women's Institute Climate Ambassador scheme which aims to encourage and help members to make a difference in their local communities and promote climate and environmental issues.

Doddington Woods - a wooded copse in Cramlington, Northumberland. The ground is covered in white cow parlsey
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For 2024 I am proud to be a partner of Visit Northumberland, the official tourism office for Northumberland. As a registered partner you can find information on The Cramlington Forager on the Visit Northumberland website, as well as any upcoming dates for events and workshops. I'm proud to call Northumberland my home and it's wonderful to be part of such a wide community of like-minded people and businesses who aim to see Northumberland recognised for its outstanding natural beauty, its welcoming people and such vibrant history and culture. 

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