October 17, 2023
Are you a fan of soothing, calming or uplifting herbal teas? Did you know that lots of ingredients grow wild around the rural spots of Tameside?
For anyone wanting to learn more or expand their knowledge, local herbalist Alison Cooper is running a Tea Foraging Walk during the Autumn half term. Teens and grown-ups can join Alison to explore the local flora to-teacup journey, and find out about the edible plants and berries that grow wild - right on your doorstep!
On her guided walk, Alison will distil what can be picked and dried in Tameside to make nourishing herbal teas. The walk will finish with an opportunity for making and taste-testing your own brews by the still waters of Chadwick Dam…
Alison is a composer, artist, museum curator and a qualified herbalist, she tells us more about the walk:
Dandelions and elderberries
“On the Tameside Tea Foraging Walk, we will be spotting and collecting ingredients, including dandelions, nettles, hawthorn berries, plantain, rowan berries and elderberries, that can be used in herbal teas,” said Alison. “Different plants and trees can be used at different times of the year; the seasons dictate how plants use their energy and we will look at the best ways to tap into this to maximise their health properties.
“The walk is about noticing and learning a different side to some of the plants we might know as weeds! Often plants that grow locally have herbal benefits and this knowledge has sadly been lost over generations.
“Herbal tea is one of the most satisfying things you can make because it is almost pure magic that medicine can be made from plants that we find and hot water!”
Fancy taking up foraging?
“If you are foraging for the first time, or would like to take up the hobby, I would strongly recommend attending a session with a trained herbalist or expert. Of course, not all berries and plants are edible and some can make humans very ill, so it is best to make sure you have expert support when you are first starting out. If you’re ever in any doubt when it comes to ingredients, always seek advice before eating or using in things like herbal tea.
“There are many books and social media groups which can also offer support to people wanting to find out more. The Herb Society has a great range of resources and is a good place to start.”
Find out more!
The Tea Foraging Walk will take place on 26th October, 2pm - 4pm, at Chadwick Dam. Please wear suitable footwear and wrap up warm. Book your free place on Eventbrite here:
Eve Jane Deasy