Food on the wild side in the Blackdowns

PUBLISHED: 10:37 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:27 15 June 2010

A group of local people enjoyed fabulous weather and a wonderful meal in the great outdoors, on a special Wild Food Walk.

A group of local people enjoyed fabulous weather and a wonderful meal in the great outdoors, on a special Wild Food Walk.

Botanist David Allen led the group on a fascinating stroll through the glorious Blackdowns landscape near to his home in Stockland. Participants, who had come from Exeter and Taunton as well as local villages, learned about the area's geology and wildlife, as well as identifying edible plants and mushrooms.

Halfway around the walk, the group stopped in a woodland clearing where David's son, chef Richard Allen, had created a welcoming camp with a gourmet meal cooking on a fire. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed wild mushrooms, squirrel and chestnut pie, venison stew with redcurrants and port, and apple tarte tatin - all delicious and all prepared with local produce and wild food.

David also took the group to have a look at Stockland Turbaries, where he has led conservation efforts to restore precious wet heathland. They were even paid a visit by some very curious cows - members of a small herd introduced to help graze the land in the traditional way.

The event was part of the current Countryside Events programme organised by the Blackdown Hills AONB. Events for all ages run throughout the year. To view the full programme, go to www.blackdown-hills.net/calendar.htm


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