£5 per person
Accompanied children free.
Saturday 12th May - Foxfield mosses, 10.00 am Start
2. Foxfield mosses - 3 1/2 miles, fairly flat easy going, Starting at the level crossing to Skelly Crag we cross over the railway line and walk towards Kirkby taking a short detour along the board walk to look at bog loving plants and herbs from a safe distance. There is the possibility of being able to pause at The Ship Inn in Kirkby before returning to Foxfield via a network of footpaths some of which take us along areas that can be flooded by high tides where we can see herbs that able to grow in brackish conditions. There are stunning views of the fells and out to sea.
Sunday 20th May - Frith Hall, 10.00 am Start
3. Frith Hall - starting and ending at Ulpha Bridge. About 3 miles of rough terrain looking at herbs which enjoy growing in damp, peaty chilly conditions. Once we have passed Frith Hall - the ruin of an ancient hunting lodge or stopping place for travelers on an old pack horse route - we drop down onto the Corney fell road making our return journey through Beck Foot; via a wooded track which provides the opportunity to see herbs that enjoy growing in milder, warmer conditions. At the site of the old bobbin mill we turn right and return to Ulpha bridge.
Sunday 26th May - Seathwaite , 10.00 am Start
4. Seathwaite - 4 1/2 miles, rough with occasional steep bits, meeting at the lay by before the Newfield inn on the left. We take a short walk through the woods and cross over the Duddon river, then follow it towards Birks bridge (we will cross back over the river before this point using the giant stepping stones) where we take a left turn to Grassguards and the drop down to high wallabarrow and return through the woods to our starting point. An opportunity to see woodland plants and herbs as well as water loving species.
All the walks will take between 3 - 4 hours depending on the herbs. The walks are undertaken at your own risk - it's important to wear appropriate foot wear and clothing ( it will be possible to get wet on all these walks) as well as bringing along a drink and something to snack on. Children must be accompanied by an adult.The walks will be cancelled if its wet but might be OK if it's only drizzling - check with me if you are unsure 07870 250182
Sunday 10th June - Birkrigg, 10.00 am Start
5. Birkrigg - Walking Festival - Herb walk from The Bardsea Church in Bardsea to Birkrigg and back Meet 10.00 am, approx 2 hours - easy walk with only a couple of inclines. £2
There is a small charge of £5 per adult, children are welcome as long as they bring an adult with them, dogs are optional - I will have George with me.
Herb Walks are an opportunity to go for a walk, usually in the South Lakes area, with a local herbalist. Booking is essential because I like to keep the numbers to about 10, any more than this and it becomes difficult for everyone to see and hear what's going on. Wear walking boots and bring wet weather gear plus a drink and sandwiches. Sometimes we will be able to sample some of the plants as we walk - bring some bead and butter for this purpose. (or similar).
Always phone a couple of hours before the start of the walk if you are unsure about the weather, I will walk in a light drizzle but nothing heavier than this - you just can't see the herbs in driving rain. Obviously all walks are undertaken at your own risk. I've been guiding herb walks for over 5 years and I haven't lost anyone yet, but you need to be realistic about the level of walking you can manage.
For example there was a lot of interest in the Hamps Fell walk from Mothers and Toddlers as well as older walkers, what I've done is to offer an alternative walk to the younger people. If you have an area local to you that you would like to know more about from a plant perspective I am happy to come out and walk with you.
I usually make a small charge of £10 per person to cover my travelling costs. I normally do any arranged walk 2 or 3 times before the event to ensure that I am familiar with the plants as well as the route, getting lost is only exciting for the first five minutes.
These walks range from the limestone hills of Hamps Fell - an interesting spring walk with a large variety of wild plants especially in a meadow which has never been cultivated or artificially fertilized. This is a 2 - 3 hour walk with an initial steep climb and uneven terrain over limestone pavements for some of the route.
Beacon Tarn and Fell - 3 - 3.5 hours, quite a different walk over boggy peaty ground with some gentle climbing involved. The plants on this walk all enjoy acid conditions, there is an impressive display of bog bean in some of the pools around the tarn. This is a good walk for a hot day, the fells usually find a breeze from some where and a swim in the tarn will also help to cool you off - it's not as cold as you might think.
I've been a practicing medical herbalist for over twenty years. The idea for the Medicine Garden has gradually germinated over this time.
During the process I've found that the emphasis of my consultation has changed, from focusing totally on the herbs to looking very much at what people eat and drink. This, combined with listening to peoples life stories has made my approach to dis-ease much more holistic, which benefits my patients by giving them more control over their health.