Forest Foraging in the forest of Dean with Forest Holidays!




Myself and 8 other bloggers were invited along to The forest of Dean by Forest holidays, for a Forest Foraging event!.

I had next to no idea what it would be like, but knew a little of what foraging was, thanks to my best friend.

read on to find out how I got on!.


I stayed in a gorgeous cabin, with two other lovely ladies


the views were spectacular wherever we were.

We all had a lovely dinner altogether, chatting about our blogs and about what to expect the next morning.

We all went on a night walk, with the forest ranger, and we all hoped to see the likes of wild boar, deer & perhaps even foxes!.

Photo credit: Erica at http://92three30.com/.

Before the night walk began however, I got to hold this beautiful barn owl called "The professor" or "prof" for short!. 

He loved me gently stroking him & even shut his eyes for a minute or two!.


Morning came & before we knew it & we were heading out into the Forest of Dean.

Photo credit: Erica at http://92three30.com/.

Possibly the best photo of me in a rain coat we'll all ever likely to see haha.



We were led by Nick Weston,who runs Hunter Gather Cook on our Foraging expedition, & we were paces into our forage when we stumbled upon our first forage of the day.. Rib leaf plantain.




From then It occurred to me that the entire time, as a family we were outdoors, we were walking past such things we could use in our cooking & even in drinks too!.

It never ceased to amaze me at Nick's knowledge of foraging & I actually felt like I was back at school learning all over again, the saying really is true, you never stop learning new things, & I certainly learnt my share on the Forest foraging.

Puffball.



We all gathered around a big area filled with nettles, normally I'd steer clear of these & advise A to do the same, but I found myself with others willingly picking some with my bare hands, apparently you can make nettle soup with them, Nick shared with us that the stinging part seems to find it's way through everything but marigolds...if only id had some in my pocket.. but I suppose the question would've been more "why do you have a pair in your pocket in the first place??" even if I did..

It has made me think that next time I shall give nettle soup a try! it could possibly go very well with pork chops.




Some of the things we all as a group collected, I think it all looks rather beautiful, nature sure did treat us!.

Some of the things we came across on the way:


  • Rib leaf plantain
  • Sorrel
  • Pineapple weed 
  • puffball 
  • nettles
  • chamomile
  • sweet chestnut 
  • Elder berries
  • Rose-hip 



We got into our cabin groups and built our own little fire!, we created it in a saucepan, so as to not let it be a serious risk to the forest!.

building a fire, was definitely one of those activities I've always wanted to learn, especially living with 2 boys.



We were successful!, we got it going & had a little help building it up ready to make...


Pine needle tea!, normally I don't drink anything in the realms of tea other than breakfast tea, but it tasted really nice, I'd definitely try this again!

all we needed was a handful of pine needles, water & your chosen cup!, it has a whole host of health benefits & something I'll be drinking once in a while too from now on.





After venturing out for a while in the forest, we got to watch Nick demonstrate a recipe, using Venison and other ingredients, I'd never thought about using slate to serve before & it made me think of trying it all out for myself.

we had an abundance of ingredients, including all of the foraged items as well.



I did enjoy looking at the table full of different colours, shapes, textures & smells.

Also getting to hold a truffle too, I'd only ever seen one on cookery programs, the smell was really pleasant, compared to it's quite unattractive looks.


Then It was our turn, we could choose between creating a drink or food, I chose food!.



We got to cook on a BBQ & a fire pit, I chose the fire pit, & with much deliberation on what I should cook, I chose a vegetarian type meal, or something you could compliment with some Parma ham or grilled chicken perhaps.

I made a red pepper, with egg,onion, Rib leaf plantain, sorrel & parsley with thinly sliced radish, starter or main dish, I chose it because of it's simplicity & ability to compliment a meat, poultry or alone.

It tasted really good, with it's slightly charred pepper taste, the egg well cooked inside & it's uncooked red onion,Rib leaf plantain,sorrel,parsley & radish.

I sprinkled some sea salt to taste & dug in!.

My dish even got photographed by a MUCH more talented photographer than me (hence my rushed,badly lit dish photography..) 

The Forest Forage event, has shown me that I can experiment even more with my everyday cooking, that the great outdoors has so many often hidden delights that I could turn into or go with my dishes & it's great fun for the family too, provide you know what your looking for!.

I had so much fun at The Forest Of Dean & we will be back, next time as a family unit, & we'll be sure to take full advantage of Forest holidays many activities such as:
  • Bike hire for all the family
  • Onsite ranger activities for all age ranges
  • A whole host of external activities from Kayaking,Climbing,Abseiling,Canoeing, Archery, Laser tag & more.



Me with my Pine Needle tea!






Have you ever been Forest foraging? or would you like to try?.



Go to Forest holidays website, to start your own adventure!
http://www.forestholidays.co.uk/