Foraging expert creates fun plant trails in Westgate and Margate

Dr Hannah Scott, aka Doctor Forager (in Minnis Bay)

An environmental scientist from Westgate has been using her daily exercise to create fun plant trails in Westgate-on-sea and Margate.

Dr Hannah Scott, aka Doctor Forager, has made two paths – from the Swan pub to the Pavilion in Westgate and from Strokes crazy golf, past Turner Contemporary to the Lido in Margate – where she has written the name of various wild plants in chalk.

She said “As I couldn’t run my face to face foraging courses, I was wondering what I could do instead. I hope people will enjoy walking along the prom and learning about the variety of plants growing on our coast.

“It is surprising what you find when you look around! The way this pandemic has made us slow down gives us the chance to do things that we are usually too busy to do. Get outside, reconnect with nature and have fun learning!”

Although all the plants are either edible or used in herbal medicine the trail has been laid out for educational purposes only.

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Plants on the trail include wild spinach, sea purslane, mallow and Thanet Cress

Doctor Forager advises that if you do want to collect and eat plants, there are a number of rules that you must follow:

  • Fully identify the plant before eating it: use a variety of identification books or attend a foraging course and only try a small amount first time.
  • You are legally permitted to forage from public grounds to collect the four Fs – foliage, flowers, fruits and fungi, but you are not allowed to uproot the plant.
  • Forage for your own use only: you are not allowed to sell it.
  • Only collect from plants that are abundant, and even then, only collect a small amount e.g. one hand full.
  • We are blessed with a wonderful environment and live on a beautiful coastline. Forage lightly and gently.

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Hannah also runs foraging walks from Margate to Westgate collecting wild sea vegetables, herbs and seaweed.

In non-Covid times these are followed by a cookery demonstration and a light lunch of the foraged food.

Find out more on the Doctor Forager facebook page and Instagram.