Foraging for Free

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Foraging for Free' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Foraging for Free' page

Start the Walk near the Ashridge Farm Caravan Park

DIY History Walks Podcasts in Ashwell

Ashwell Walks offers free downloadable historical tours of Ashwell. They can be found on Spotify, iTunes and Google Podcasts apps on your smartphone by searching on Ashwell Walks, or you can listen to them online at . Each walk takes about an hour, and offers a different theme.

For example, Pub Crawl shows you the where the brewing heritage of the village started and how it expanded with visits to dozens of current and former pubs.  

Foraging takes a path on the Iron Age Iknield Way, down by old quarries and into drover’s paths whilst explaining where and why many fruits grow along our pathways. New walks are added frequently.

All walks are free to download and enjoy.

Hello, and welcome to the Ashwell audio tour Episode 1. Food for free: foraging in summer. My name is Sally Fletcher and I have lived in Ashwell for eighteen years. I wrote this audio tour about some of my favourite spots to gather wild fruits in Ashwell and also to share some of the village’s history with you along the way. 
Most people ignore the amazing hedgerows we have around Ashwell but they are full of interesting plant species that are an incredible resource for thrifty cooks. I am fond of elder, bramble, blackthorn, dog rose, and hawthorn, which provide seasonal goodies from May through to October. But by far my most favourite hedgerow fruits are the wild plums that grow in abundance around the village.
You are welcome to collect Ashwell’s hedgerow fruits but please be mindful that these lovely old hedges deserve to be treated with care. Don’t bend and break branches or be greedy in your gathering. The hedges also provide food for birds, insects and animals so make sure you are only collecting ripe fruits. The fruits mentioned in this audio-tour ripen at different times from early August through to late October. Check the ground for fallen ripe fruits and berries, if there are none it’s too early to pick. Most importantly – as with all wild plants and fungi – be certain of what you are picking and how to prepare it safely. If you are unsure, do not risk a stomach ache (or worse) and leave well alone. 
Our walk begins on the eastern side of the village, at the Ashridge Farm caravan park. We will travel along Ashwell Street to the western end of the village and then back again via a short section of the High Street. It takes roughly an hour to complete. If you need to drive to the start, there is a small area you can leave your car just beyond the caravan park entrance.


This page was added on 08/09/2020.