Flora

Know your what's around you

What’s around you?

When we’re out and about we all go for many reasons, but this shouldn’t stop you learning a little bit about what is around you. Knowing just a little might mean you can have a natural snack on the go, like blackberries, bilberries, wild strawberries, or even make a small salad with hawthorn leaves, or just be aware of what’s there.

When ID-ing plants and trees go with a friend, and both discuss the plant’s features and work together to ID the plant. When working through the parts of the plant, make sure you don’t convince yourself it’s something it’s not. There are no short cuts to identifying plants and trees. There is no shame in not being able to ID it. Take a photo of the plant and ask online, there are plenty of forums and groups for this.

It takes practise to see what’s around you, and repetition of learning that really reinforces that knowledge. Here are a couple of books and materials I recommend. There are many guides out there, this is just a couple I have, and the cards are great for kids to be involved as well. Woodland trust do great swatches, I did have some, but I accidentally destroyed them on a programme, so yet to be replaced.

Last piece of advice, please refrain from picking flowers, and forage considerately by taking only what you need across a number of plants and areas. Picking flowers and too many berries reduces the biodiversity of the area, and affects, birds, bees, butterflies, bats and many other fauna that require the flora to sustain a healthy and diverse habitat.

Phones apps can be tricky, but these are useful, loads out there.

  • PlantNet
  • Woodland Trust, British Trees

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