Foraging Rules & Safety

Foraging Collection Rules and Safety 

The Rule of Thirds

When out collecting, always it is important to leave at least 1\3 of the plant remaining, so that the living parts can multiply; primarily the stems, leaves and roots. It’s always good to remember that this is a living organism, be it any part of a plant and to treat it respectfully. In some cultures and beliefs, it is common to also ‘ask’ a plant prior to picking, to check that the most edible and ripest parts are alright.  This means to collect carefully and consciously, so that it will still be able to bear food for another season and year. This secures the plant’s life and it will remain fruitful for others and ourselves, when we can return another time, to find some in that particular place.

Take a good guide book

Invest in a good wild food foraging guide book, to accompany you on journeys and to familiarise yourself with plants in between trips and outings. Stick a sticky note tab in the plants you find and already know for immediate reference.

Theresa recommends: Food For Free by Richard Mabey

Safety Cautions

  • Don’t pick or eat anything that you don’t know to be edible, or if you feel unsure.
  • Speak to other foragers\nature enthusiasts, attend my guided walks and investigate online, to become more familiar with the few inedible\poisonous species to avoid.
  • Collect from safe, clean areas where possible and not by roadsides where there may be excess toxins or dog walking areas. The risk of contamination is minimal when applying these rules and collecting safely.
  • Prior to consumption, you may wish to rinse your plants well, to prevent any contamination.

Common poisonous species to avoid


Giant Hogweed

Yew berry seeds \ pips

Certain mushrooms \ toadstools (please refer to a Fungi guide).

For a full list, view more Foraging & Wildlife activities here:




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