Eating out...on Ilkley Moor

Ilkley Gazette: Friends of Ilkley Moor project officer Tracy Gray demonstrates foraging for edible wild plants, among the bilberry and heather on the moor Friends of Ilkley Moor project officer Tracy Gray demonstrates foraging for edible wild plants, among the bilberry and heather on the moor

Eleven people set out on a hot Sunday morning to forage for wild edible plants on Ilkley Moor.

The two-hour walk on the lower slopes on Sunday was led by Tracy Gray, project officer for The Friends of Ilkley Moor.

She said: “There are many edible plants to be found on the moor, all of which provide great nutrition, medicinal benefits and practical uses.”

The plants discovered on the moor included: hazel, oak, hawthorn, elderberry, willow, bramble, wild rose, nettles, dandelion, cleavers, yarrow, heather, bilberry, water mint, sphagnum moss and lichen.

Liches and heather can be used for natural dyes and are still used in parts of Scotland. Heather flowers are also used to flavour beer.

Bracken used to be collected for thatching and animal bedding. Dandelion and nettles, meanwhile, are highly nutritious, and acorns used to be made into flour. The walk was the 11th of 27 events organised by the Friends from May to September.

The programme of events and six Heritage Walks can be downloaded from The Friends Website – ilkleymoor.org – or collected from Ilkley Visitor Information Centre, Ilkley Library, or shops and cafes in the town.

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