Out until twilight this evening in Beddgelert forest, gathering the abundance of the woodland for a workshop I am leading this coming Sunday afternoon. It is part of the ‘Vibrant Vegan’ retreat at Trigonos and I am busily assembling baskets and baskets of acorns, beech and alder masts, hazel nuts, heather, berries and foliage to provide the twenty-two participants with enough living potential to make autumnal door wreaths, broaches, table decorations and – lastly – cute little fir cone gnomes.
All good fun, and gives me a lovely excuse to be wandering the woodland ways with my family and dogs as I source and gather the necessary wild materials. And yes, I am always respectful, and ask each bush, plant or area if it is willing to donate some of its produce to whatever I am making. I am also careful not to over-pick from any one tree or place so that no one can actually see I have been there and taken anything. One also had to bear in mind that many insects, animals and birds rely on our autumnal abundance for winter food. They are mostly territorial and we humans need to be careful not to completely denude one territorial patch and leave some wild creature without supplies.
Always remember to be thoughtful, grateful and appreciative. Otherwise, a stroll in the sunshine to collect some bits and pieces to make a seasonal wreath is a really lovely past-time for this time of year. Take a walk out… and enjoy!