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  • Writer's pictureTamlin Taylor

Final Day : Woodland Wildflower Challenge

Woodland Wildlife Challenge

Coobs Clough Lancashire

It’s just a month since I started my woodland wildlife challenge

I have really enjoyed it and I’ve learnt a whole lot more about wildflowers and their uses both in the kitchen and in terms of medicine. 

It was a particular joy because the wood in question: Cobbs Clough starts just at the foot of my garden, the path winds down a slight incline through incredible drifts of bluebells,and after about a mile meets the river Tawd.

Foraging is Easy!

In the last few months,

I have learnt how to use wild herbs in the kitchen both cooked and in salads….things like bittercress, wild garlic and woodsorrel. Some of these things are unusual to eat and it takes a leap of faith to start using them in the same way as we do our regular salad and ingredients.

I would have struggled to find 30 suitable flowers in the wood since in April there only about 16 common ones. However my friend Claire Winteringham was a huge help at both finding flowers and also identifying the ones that I had found(I really did not have much of a clue about wildflowers at all as it turned out!)

Thanks to all those of you who have commented and also asked different questions everything got my mind working and I  would be happy if this small amount of work has opened some minds to the possibilities of the woodland. 

Herbs have been important to all current cultures throughout history. Many tribes and different cultures have used herbs found both in the wild and also cultivated for either medicines or for using the kitchens for hundreds of years. In fact herbs were first mentioned in Genesis the first chapter of the bible and there are many references throughout history to these remarkable healing substances

I keep bumping into friends who are astonished that I might be actually eating these things that I find in the wood. Of course care has to be taken to correctly identify them, please seek out expert advice if you’re in doubt

It has been a really great project to do during the lockdown phase of the COVID-19 virus something positive to keep my mind occupied and a genuine wonderment at what is out there to be found

I have been amazed at just how beautiful the wood is especially the area around the river and I am delighted to say that these areas have been cleaned up considerably in the last couple of years. Enormous thanks to the Friends of TawnValley group who work so hard to create a pristine environment

 Tawd Valley Park is a hidden jewel in this. Part of Lancashire .The site surrounds the River Tawd as it meanders its way from Yewdale across a large section of the historic town of Skelmersdale through to Cobbs Clough Brow.

'The Tawd' is a large country park and a haven for a wide variety of wildlife. You often see birds of prey soaring above the meadows and kingfishers, dippers and wagtails patrolling the river banks,as well as woodpeckers owls and Deer.

There is an extensive path network and walking around the site you can find plenty of evidence of the area's history, with the ruins of an old mill, millponds and capped mineshafts, providing echoes of the industrial age. 

Todays flower :purple dead nettle

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