Walk Around West Rise Marsh with video


My name is Linda Bostock, I qualified as a medical herbalist in 1993 after completing a four year diploma course at the school of Phytotherapy in East Sussex and have been running my clinic of herbal medicine since then, first in Slough and now in Eastbourne.

Over the next few months, I will be filming a number of herbal walks, firstly in the beautiful part of the country I live in, East Sussex, and then wider afield. I would like to invite you to come with me either through my text description or the films that I will be making.

The first herb walk is in an area near where we live in Eastbourne called West Rise marsh, which is a great dog walking place. It is a lake formed from an old gravel pit and like many once abandoned areas is now a mini nature reserve with interesting plant and bird life. The area is now managed by the caretaker of the local primary school who keeps Water Buffalo on the land and I have had interesting times observing the Buffalo, especially the new calf that was born at the end of last year. Throughout the year there are many different water fowls that visit the lake and I have often watched the ungainly landings or takings off of visiting swans. There are always Reed warblers flitting around the reed beds and in the summer Swallows and Swifts swooping around catching insects.

The two plants we are looking at on this herb walk are, Hawthorn and Cramp Bark, but we also stop and look at two other plants, Goosegrass and Water Dropwort.

Cramp Bark


Hawthorn in the hedgerow


I suppose I am the equivalent of a twitcher, except I like to collect knowledge of medicinal plants I have seen growing in the countryside, on my walks, but I don’t have to hide in a little wooden shed to see them!!!!. It still, after all this time, makes me feel thrilled to see plants I commonly use in my clinic, to treat various medical conditions, growing all around us.

I hope you enjoy these herb walks and if you have any interesting plants growing around you please share them with us on the website and we could all have a chat about them.

Sadly with the loss of so much countryside and pesticide use, our plants are all endangered species, an example of which is red clover. Red clover used to grow in all the fields when I was a child. I remember picking it and sucking the flower (we didn’t worry whether the cows had peed on it!) which was slightly sweet from the nectar it contained. Now I rarely see it, but when I do I get so excited!

So keep your eyes open next time you are walking around and look at the plants growing wild/in gardens/in the countryside. They may well be the origins of medicines you are taking.

If you would like to write to me about anything in this article or about medicinal plants you have seen in your area, please complete the form below.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

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