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CHOOSING
PRODUCTS

There are a few different ways to go about choosing woodland products. Read on to find out what you need to consider and get some inspiration…

CHOOSING
PRODUCTS

CHOOSING PRODUCTS

Choosing what you could harvest from your woodlands for income is a bit of a cross over between what is available, your interests and skills (do you perhaps already make baskets or know someone who does in your area?), the time and money you can afford to invest and crucially the nature of the markets.

If you don’t have any specific ideas in mind then you could have a look through foraging books, craft books and even local histories to stimulate ideas. You could also look through the many databases of useful products.

Plants for a Future (PFAF) is a free database which is a compendium of uses for 7000+ plants (not all of them from the UK). Here you can search by species or by uses.

However, there are a few caveats:

  • The PFAF database lists all uses and does not distinguish those which are acceptable in the UK marketplace – in particular be very wary of medicinal uses or claims of medicinal effects unless you are a qualified herbalist,

  • The information for each species relates to its use in horticulture – because it can be grown doesn’t mean it should and certainly isn’t a good indication of whether it can be sustainably harvested from the wild. Consideration of sustainable harvesting requires planning based on resource data in your woodland and information concerning the life history of the species. See the WILD GARLIC CASE STUDY page for a worked example of what is needed.

Before you make up your mind about anything check if there are markets for it. Take a look at our MARKETING page for more information.


CHOOSING PRODUCTS

Choosing what you could harvest from your woodlands for income is a bit of a cross over between what is available, your interests and skills (do you perhaps already make baskets or know someone who does in your area?), the time and money you can afford to invest and crucially the nature of the markets.

If you don’t have any specific ideas in mind then you could have a look through foraging books, craft books and even local histories to stimulate ideas. You could also look through the many databases of useful products.

Plants for a Future (PFAF) is a free database which is a compendium of uses for 7000+ plants (not all of them from the UK). Here you can search by species or by uses.

However, there are a few caveats:

  • The PFAF database lists all uses and does not distinguish those which are acceptable in the UK marketplace – in particular be very wary of medicinal uses or claims of medicinal effects unless you are a qualified herbalist,

  • The information for each species relates to its use in horticulture – because it can be grown doesn’t mean it should and certainly isn’t a good indication of whether it can be sustainably harvested from the wild. Consideration of sustainable harvesting requires planning based on resource data in your woodland and information concerning the life history of the species. See the WILD GARLIC CASE STUDY page for a worked example of what is needed.

Before you make up your mind about anything check if there are markets for it. Take a look at our MARKETING page for more information.


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