Last Sat me and the littleun trekked to Tring to see what collidge Lake nature reserve has to offer and if its possible for me to run workshops there. after a fairly pleasant half hour walk pushing the buggy over a stony towpath to the second bridge (nr Bulbourne’s Grand JUnction Arms) i fled Marty the last hundred metres down a road with no pavement to get to Collidge Lake’s entrance, which seemed to be the only way in!
Once inside the quiet gift shop which reminded me of a hermit’s cave strewn with garden sculptures and soft toys, the receptionist even looked faintly shocked that someone had come in.
Marty woke up to this view….
We discovered a Woodland theatre, a small bender shelter such as the ones yrs truly has lived in for a number of years (except i cheated by covering with advertising tarp as i didnt want to freeze to death being a purist) also a Shepherd hut which Marty proceeded to trash.
as for edibles, plenty of Plaintain and Biting Stonecrop, which is a succulent alpine type plant which is great on a green roof and also gives a peppery hot flavour to dishes. Cowslip is also edible and was used to make wine (as was nearly everything in the British Isles as our ancestors were such sots) but as it is now so rare its poor taste to harvest it and you will earn well deserved glares if you try!
Guelder Rose is medicinal, the prepared dried bark relaxing cramped muscles including period pain. not too good to eat though…
Beech trees will provide tasty fatty nuts every four years or so.
From top clockwise..Cowslip, Biting Stonecrop (with Marty!), Wild Strawberry, Salad Burnet atop my hand, and Guelder Rose.
Salad burnet grows on chalk as there is here, it’s a nice addition to any salad as, duh, the name suggests! Last time i soujourned on chalk was when i slept out on the North Downs trail and i never went hungry for greens..you will find completely different edibles on chalk than on clay.
Whats more I found a copy of Bruce Parry’s ‘Tribe’ which is a darn good read, though some parts can even gross ME out, which is impressive. I couldnt eat half the things that guy ate. and the nice lady at the desk said i could pay next time as id spent all me change on a coffee. (Pricey..mental note bring thermos next time)