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A woodland landscape

Sustinability Policy

As foragers we spent a great deal of time in nature, observing its cycles and its patterns. We hold intimate knowledge of the land, whether it be ancient woodland or town green, and it is without a doubt that there comes with it a certain level of responsibility to protect this environment around us.

This Sustainability Policy outlines the measures I, as the Cramlington Forager are committed to in order to minimise any negative impact as we walk the land. 

These are the principles I teach and advocate on all wild food foraging walks and online postings:

Principles

  •  A part of nature - Recognise that as a forager you engage with nature,  you have a level of responsibility to the land around you. From plants and fungi, to habitats and environments, its important to understand and respect the interconnectivity of it all and tread lightly.

  • Take a little, leave plenty - Be aware that you may not be the only person foraging in the area; ensure you always leave plenty for other people and enough for wildlife, and to allow the plants and fungi to reproduce. Don’t take more than you can personally use and if you can, forage across multiple sites.

  • Mindful Harvesting - Foraging should done in a way which doesn't cause damage to the plants and fungi, or to the land around them. Always try to use the correct tools for the job and aim to avoid causing unnecessary disturbance and trampling of other plants which might be nearby.

The Law

  • Be mindful of the law - Beyond the protection of certain species, it is also illegal to uproot any plant on public land or on private land without the landowners permission. Most nature reserves will allow sustainable foraging but it is important to check any site specific rules before doing so. 

  • The four F's - The Countryside Act 1981 says that we are free to forage for fruit, foliage, fungi and flowers on public land, so long as it is for personal consumption, meaning it is against the law to sell what you have foraged. ​

Safety

  • Know what it is you are picking - Never eat any plant or fungi unless you can identify it without a doubt. There are a number of wild foods which are deadly poisonous, so if there is any doubt at all, leave it well alone.

  • Stay clear of pollution - Avoid foraging along busy roadsides, or polluted waterways where the risk of contamination is high. Always wash your wild food thoroughly before consuming if possible.

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