Late Summer Foraging
When you go walking in the meadows and woods in late August, it’s always worth bringing along a basket or sturdy container because you never know what fruits and berries you may find. Sweet, juicy blackberries seem to be particularly abundant at the moment.
Foraging for fruit growing wild is pleasurable and absorbing while providing a free and healthy source of food.
It’s a perfect activity to enjoy with children. They can look, explore, touch, feel, taste, share and talk about what they find while learning about how plants grow and develop. They can also think ahead to the delayed gratification of preparing a delicious dessert or juice with the fruits they have gathered.
This said, it is important to alert children to the risks there are in foraging so that they remain safe and avoid having a negative impact on nature:
- Make sure it is permitted to forage in the wild space you have found.
- Beware of touching, picking or tasting berries and fruit that are from plants you do not recognise. There is a risk that they are toxic.
- Keep an eye out for the prickly tenticles of brambles.
- Have antiseptic wipes ready to hand.
- Forage for fruits that are clearly in abundance, leaving some behind.
- Collect no more than you need or know that you can use.
- Keep to places that are easily accessible.
- Be aware that animals may be hiding in the undergrowth or that there may even be a bird’s nest.