With thanks to Christian Doyle for the words and pictures.
“A perfect Autumn day, satisfyingly cold and sunny. We joined The Forest Knights in Binstead Woods and walked along a leaf-littered track while being informed that this charming little furrow was the Bognor to Arundel Road once upon a time.
Our ‘Knight’ was Wayne Jones who was very informative and funny. I didn’t take in all he told us and to be honest, I can’t remember what plants were were edible or toxic to humans. He did say that taste wasn’t an indication – some highly nutritious plants taste horrible; and vice-versa. I will however be looking more closely at your common hedgerow for inadvertent poisonings.
We meandered along the road admiring the land, the sky, the trees and views, asking questions and swapping gathering and pickling stories before arriving at a magic camp in a dappled clearing. We were freezing by then because we had done more ambling, talking and gathering than actual walking so a cup of tea round a robustly burning fire tasted wonderful. The rest of the group stayed for venison and beef stew being stirred into onions and herbs – and no doubt more lovely stories and woodland lore.
They have a quote on the Forest Knights website which reads: “The thing to remember when travelling is that the trail is the thing, not the end of the trail – travel too fast and you miss all that you are travelling for.”
Forest Knights run courses in bushcraft and all sorts of cave-man activities and for a hardened townie I had a wonderfully fruitful morning!”
Christian Doyle is an Arundel-based professional photographer when not hanging out in woods on behalf of Arundel Food Festival.