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Foraging walk review (All Hands Garden Group)

On a sunny May day the Group met near Woodlands Way, West Wickham for a short walk to find edible plants under the direction of Theresa Webb, qualified Nutritional Therapist and founder of Kitchen Buddy.

Within a few steps of starting we found Wild Garlic growing in the roadside, together with Herb Robert, Dock, Narrow leaved Plantain, Dandelion, Hedge Garlic and Sanicle. A few feet further and there was Cow Parsley.

We were warned that it is important to identify carefully the ribbed stems and green colour and not confuse it with poisonous Hemlock, smooth round purple blotched stems but slightly more feathery leaves and foul smell. This really means you should not touch or eat plants you can not identify as safe. Also it is wise not to take any thing you will eat from below waist height in places where dogs walk. Remember that other animals depend on plants and never take more than two thirds of a plant and do not uproot it if not needing the root.

Roots, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds can all act differently on the body and strengths depend on time of year and day and even weather conditions.

The question came, where is it permissible to pick plants? Strictly, only where you have the landowner’s permission.

Crossing the road we found Broad leaved Plantain, Blackberry brambles , Sweet Chestnut, Oak, Stinging Nettle ( three leaves in a cup of hot water make nice tea), Bracken (ferns), Cleavers (Goosegrass), Honeysuckle, Hawthorn (Mayflower), Deadnettle – all these can be used in various ways.

In the woods we found Raspberry, Silver Birch- sap can make a drink, Yew is poisonous but the red part of the fruit is OK IF YOU DO NOT EAT THE PIP!

Wood Avens, Pendulous Sedge ( sedges have triangular stems, so does Allium triquetum which is the Three Cornered Leek; we did not find this.)

Another two plants to watch out for are Hogweed and Giant Hogweed. Both have sap that causes blisters in sunlight and although edible and sustaining the Giant is best avoided.

Rowan/Mountain Ash had green berries now but orange when ripe and make good jelly. Enchanter’s Nightshade brought some extra interest from the group who wondered how they might use it!

Wood Anemone indicated that this was very old woodland.

Small- leaved Lime was seen and we were to have this as salad at lunch.

Near the end we found Gooseberry and Currant; these may have been dumped here but both are native species. Last was Meadow Sweet, remember the scent of old fashioned pharmacies? This contains aspirin, good for headaches.

Back to Sandy’s house for a delicious light lunch made from some of the species seen, together with herb mixture condiments and pesto made by Theresa. Thank you Theresa and Sandy.

In conclusion, I must emphasize that this article should not be taken as recipes or instruction on eating or using any wild plant as it takes very much more learning to know how to get the benefit of the natural foods and medicines.

Remember that a little learning is a dangerous thing and for that reason I have excluded the many uses we were told of during the walk.

Thanks again to Theresa and Sandy.

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We love our Village volunteers

Theresa leads our Walk & Talk in Mountsfield Park on Thursdays. She is able to hold space and allow the Villagers on her walks to form bonds with each other. She also generously shares her wealth of knowledge of foraging, wild food and nutrition so the walking Villagers get to learn something too! Thank you Theresa.

“I chose to be a volunteer at the Village because I like sharing my enjoyment of the natural world with others, especially to enable new parents to leave the house and get outside for an hour of unstructured activity, in good company.

The common theme is that despite however challenging it may be in the morning getting a baby ready to leave the house, the rewards always outweigh any initial challenges.

I’ve lived in the area over 40 years and I know the park quite well. Occasionly we stop for chat in or around the community garden where herbs and vegetables grow year round. We share our top tips for health and well-being. Did you know that lettuce has a calming effect?! Try putting lettuce in a juicer and feeding a little to your baby or toddler.”

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Festive Foliage! Table and Door Wreaths Class

Make your own Natural Solstice Decorations


5, December 2021 @ 12:30 pm 4:30 pm

Lift spirits this Christmas by Brightening up your entrance hall with a wreath!

Learn the peaceful art of designing your own natural decorations, make an arrangement to decorate your home over the festive period. Full instruction given.

Choose your own fresh foliage from our gorgeous collection of specially selected evergreen branches, berries, dried flowers and mini-medium cones.

We’ll be making either door or table decorations (and place a candle in the centre.)

BRING: your own pair of secateurs or strong scissors for cutting plant stems, if you have them (we will provide a pair to share).

LoveGift provides a full lunch menu of meals, light snacks and delicious drinks to enjoy.


Kitchen Buddy


View Organiser Website

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Wild Cat Wilderness Open Day

10, October 2021 @ 11:00 am 4:00 pm

Great family activity
open day

Catford Arts Trail – natural dyeing, eco-printing, weaving, bushcraft workshops

We will be running a series of free outdoor community workshops for all ages using natural materials. Drop in anytime. Last entry 3.30pm.

Liz is running an autumn natural dyeing session using plants and flowers from the wilderness plus make your own ecoprint.

Other activities include natural weaving with sticks and wool, make a wood bracelet or carve your own butter knife.

If you are planning to come along let us know in advance if possible so we can plan refreshments, etc.

You must log in or register to make a booking.

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Vegan Organic Fest 2021 Cornwall

Vegan Organic Fest 2021 Cornwall

12, August 2021 @ 12:00 am 16, August 2021 @ 5:00 pm

The Vegan Organic Fest 2021 is going ahead and are looking forward to a fun, entertaining and thought provoking back to nature veganic event.

The Vegan Organic Fest will be at Chyan Cultural Centre; an eleven acre site deep in the Cornish countryside with a capacity of about 200 people, camping facilities, on site hostel and nearby alternative accommodation.

Chyan is an off grid veganic apple farm with its own supply of spring water. The venue hosts many events and is a wonderful place for returning to nature, some of the land is wild, some is nature reserve and there is plenty of flat meadow for camping. Chyan has a 200-seater geodesic dome theatre, two large modern barns for classes plus several marquees. The centre has its own wind turbine, which provides electricity for the whole site, the hot showers, swimming pool and sauna are all fed by natural spring water. We are blessed to be able to hold the festival in such a beautiful, peaceful and positive space.

The event is from midday on Thursday 12th August-Monday 16th August with activities happening from Friday-Sunday.

No dogs allowed.

Booking code : Theresa101 for a 10% discount.

Theresa Webb

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Nature and nurture in Downham: a guided nature walk

Theresa Webb

22, May 2021 @ 10:30 am 12:30 pm

This walk starts at Goldsmiths Community Centre in Downham, Lewisham and ends in Beckenham Place Park, southeast London’s largest park.

Along the way, participants will be encouraged to look closely at their surroundings, to observe the nature that can easily get missed as we dash from place to place.

Theresa Web, the walk leader, is experienced at leading nature walks and is a seasoned medicinal plant urban forager. She will offer information along the way on the medicinal and wellbeing uses of different plants and trees that are encountered.

This area of southeast London is often off people’s radar. It is largely residential and is wonderfully green. This two hour guided walk will be an opportunity to get off the beaten track and be reminded just how we can benefit from being in and observing nature, even when living in urban environments.

The walk is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Booking essential as numbers limited.

About your guide: Theresa Webb is a Nutritional Therapist, Raw Vegan Chef and Chocolatier, and London National Park City Ranger. Theresa has experience of leading nature walks across London and further afield, and has a wealth of knowledge on all things nutrition and medicinal plant-related, including the impact that local and seasonal plants have on our wellbeing.

This event is part of the Urban Tree Festival 2021. Taking place 15th – 23rd May, the festival will celebrate our urban trees through art, literature, theatre, online talks, webinars, workshops, tree walks, music and well-being. Events are taking place in London and beyond, many of which are online so you can enjoy them from the comfort of your home. We would love for you to join us! Visit our website to find out more:

Free A guided walk through Downham in Lewisham. Focusing on medicinal plants and nature for well-being.

Goldsmiths Community Centre

Castillon Road
Catford, SE6 1QD United Kingdom
+ Google Map
View Venue Website

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Urban Tree Festival 15th – 23rd May 2021

The festival will celebrate our urban trees through a diverse range of events and activities. We have events taking place in London and beyond. Many of which are free and online so you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, anywhere in the world.
Explore the Festival and book your tickets. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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Christmas Dinner

I’ve begun another pumpkin sketch with a blue Japanese theme pattern design in the background, inspired by the Japanese kimono wearing doll I received as a gift as a child.

I’m delighted to make a floral arrangement using foliage found in our garden, it’s a very satisfying art! Placed with a scented candle in the middle, it makes a traditional centrepiece on the dining table.

A walk along the river is always interesting, today I met another nettle tea fan, plus a couple who’s daughter is an amateur botanist and discovered turkey tail mushrooms, plus dock, cow parsley, cleavers and dandelion leaves for a salad to enjoy alongside the main dinner.

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