F O R A G I N G
Growing up in Finland, one is born with a keen interest in the environment and the common good. From an early age, you learn to identify plants, trees, berries and mushrooms. Foraging comes as second nature to most Finns and being outdoors breathing in the fresh air and knowing how beneficial it is is mentally and physically is something we take for granted. In Finland, there is something called Everyman's right, which refers to the right of everyone in Finland to enjoy outdoor pursuits regardless of who owns or occupies an area. You do not need the landowner's permission, and there is no charge. However, you must not damage the environment or disturb others while exercising public access rights.
So whenever I'm out in nature here in the UK, and preferably with a basket in my hand I am in my happy place. I'm lucky to have found a little community here in Essex that is equally invested in what nature has to offer and we occasionally go out together foraging. Something I would highly recommend to anyone, just please be mindful of not picking and eating something you are certain you have identified correctly, pick only as much as you can eat, leave some for others and for wildlife, and read up about trespass laws and make sure you are allowed to forage where you plan to. Maybe one day England will follow Finland's model and have an everyman's right to walk and forage anywhere! If this is close too your heart, then go and sign this petition https://www.righttoroam.org.uk.