The begin of autumn is always a magical time for me,the smell as i walked from the station was an amazing earthy richness which just got stronger the further into the country i went.
This is a walk that over the last few years i have done many times so it was great to just stride out without having to consult the map and enjoy the beautiful morning.The first wild food to fall into the bag was some wild apples which i found on a country lane.
Before long i was on Ashdown forest and a short stop in a old wild camp spot for fresh coffee and i was on the hunt for mushrooms in the beech forest.Unfortunatly the mushrooms where not about apart from some hedgehog fungus,a rather yummy mushroom. Before long i was in Hartfield and sitting down to a pint of Harvey’s and a ploughmans.Now being a chef i get a little upset with eating establishments that dont make use of the local produce.My ham ploughmans was sussex ham,half a granny smith apple[most likely from france even though i had spent the morning walking through loads of orchards full of apples],the salad was most likely from europe and the pickle was from mr cross and blackwell,even though its so easy to make your own chutney and pickle.Well thats my rant over back to the walk.
From Hartfield i headed over the river medway and found some bullace[wild plums].
The rest of the walk was through rolling countryside with stops for blackberries and some more bulluce.I finished in East Grinstead,tired but very happy.There was a point in the walk when i felt myself relaxing and drifting into the rhythm of the walk.A great walk and now its time to get busy making jam.