Wednesday 25 May 2016

Leave No Trace

Its a wonderful experience having a fire in the woods, gathering some wild food and cooking on an open flame...but how to do it safely and without leaving a negative mark on the land?

Last session we explored these ideas with the Junior Rangers. Here's some of what we looked at:

Leave no trace fires.
 Having a fire off the ground has many advantages, including improved oxygen flow to your fire, no scorch marks and reduced risk of setting fire to the ground. This is really something to think when deciding if it is o.k to have a fire outdoors. Even if it is wet on the surface, fires can burn into the ground and were there is peat, ignite an underground fire which could smoulder for years. ..definitely one to be aware of!

Once you've chosen a safe and appropriate site, the easiest way to have a fire off the ground is to bring something with you...and an old satellite dish works a treat!!  Just need to whittle a few legs first!

More information about 'leave no trace' here

At this time of year, there is an abundance of wild food around us, much of it very common, easy to identify and tasty too! 
 A few things to thing about when foraging

  •  Is it safe to eat? Good identification is key here. If in doubt leave it out!
  • Is it common or rare? There is a lot of ethics involved in foraging. Here is a link to the Scottish Wild Mushroom code  
  • Is the clean and not polluted? Picking watercress in a field with sheep is not a good idea (liver fluke) nor is it wise to pick on popular dog walking routes, the sides of busy roads or from historically contaminated sites! 
We made a tasty common sorrel and nettle soup (well some of us thought it was tasty!) 

Foraging for Common Sorrel
Vanessa watching over the soup!

Serving up!

Its wonderful the ideas that emerge when sat round a camp fire.  We introduced the concept of the 'talking stick' and the Junior Rangers decided they'd like to carve it each month with a design which represents what they did.

This month it was carved with the image of a camp fire.

Talking Stick enthusiasm!

Looking forward to next month


Site and Community Officer


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