EP27: Be your own authority – a forager’s perspective

I rarely get in front of a camera or speak on podcasts. Yet last month my friend Chris Holland managed to persuade me to sit down with him for a chat.

Chris hosts the Talks With Tellers show. A programme where he asks guests to speak about the power of story to reconnect us with the ecosystem.

Yours truly (on this occasion) stupidly agreed.

Be warned. I don’t mince my words in this interview. For some unknown reason. I blame the rather large amount of coffee I had earlier, I just spoke my mind. I say some controversial things.

I do hope you get the gist of the interview and don’t judge me too much. Sometimes that old inner punk just can’t keep his trap shut!

Chris and I discuss:

  • the importance of restoring vital connection to the ecosystem.
  • why you are responsible for making change happen, not the government.
  • teaching plants through the power of story.
  • racist conservation NGOs.
  • empowering self and community through sensory-based nature practices and more.

Show Notes


  1. Boom! Wow! Really enjoyed listening to this podcast.
    Loved the way you named and shamed those puritans and NGO’s
    Going back to Pagan Britain when we had so many feast days. The bounty of our hedgerows, parks, gardens and woodlands.
    I am of the same nature as yourself in age and past lifestyle choices. You inspire me, truly! Not blowing wind lol. Thank you. Your books are amazing and I am now showing my grandchildren the Joy’s of nature and the bounty she gives us. My children also love reading your books and realise their mum isn’t the only nutter who gets inspired and excited by plants and the many benefits they have.
    Hats off to both of you

  2. Loved this, thank you so much. We live in rural dordogne, surrounded by woods and forests, and I’m getting so into ancient plant medicines, and what plants evolved to do, and our connection to them, so this info is just brilliant. A lot of the plants we see here are what you also see in the UK, and its given me such a thirst for knowledge, to know what can be used and what can’t. Amazing subject. Keep up the good work

  3. Great podcast. Very glad to hear your opinion on “invasive” plants which mirrors my attitude exactly. Here on the west coast of Canada teams regularly massacre broom and even chop down foxgloves! Nothing sadder than withered foxglove corpses laying along the shoulder of the road. They stay for such a short time, only a few years before their niche is overtaken first by bracken, then western hemlock trees. And the native fir , cedar and maple trees love the broom enriched soil where their seedlings flourish (if they are allowed to, and humans don’t work to maintain the clearcut that was being healed by broom).
    I have noticed that the more I encounter a weed in my garden, and feel annoyed by its vigorous presence, the more my body happens to be needing the nutritive qualities of that particular plant, at that time.

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