Foraging the UK in Winter

We’ve been collecting a list of edible plants in the UK. Following on from the Spring, Summer, and Autumn posts, here’s what we have for the Winter months. Of course, it is possible for these plants to be out earlier or later depending on the climate for the year. Each image links to an information page about the plant. If you know of any edible plants not included, or of better information about them, please do let us know in the comments.

When foraging please remember to be safe and respectful. Here are a couple pointers:

  1. Be 100% sure.  This is for your own health & safety! Many plants have poisonous lookalikes, so start with plants you really know.  Use a good plant identification guide, or even better, a local person who can identify the plants with you the first few times, until you are confident that you can identify the plant from lookalikes.  If you’re still nervous – you can always grow your own plants from seed, so you are 100% sure of the origin!
  2. Consider the environment. Wild food is usually free of pesticides and fertilizers, but you need to watch out for other things such as pollution and animals.  Pick away from busy roads, “above dog height”, and avoid water plants near cattle.
  3. Allow for continuation.  Always leave more than you take.  Try to pick a little from several different locations rather than stripping one location. Pick a few leaves from each plant rather than all the leaves from one.
  4. Be aware of your rights. In England, you can forage for personal use, but not if you’re making products to sell.  Check your local laws for rules in your own area. Don’t pick on private property or in conservation areas.

Mushrooms and Fungi

Blewit mushroom
Blewit
Chanterelle
Chanterelle
Honey fungus
Honey fungi
oyster mushroom
Oyster
fairy ring champignons - scotch bonnet
Scotch bonnet
velvet shank mushrooms
Velvet shank

Ground plants

Chickweed
Chickweed 
dandelion leaves
Dandelion leaves 
Horseradish
Horseradish
stinging nettles
Stinging nettles

 

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