Holt Wood view, August 2013

Visitors to Holt Wood
Visitors are benefiting from the picnic tables which were donated last year which provide a good focus for a group.  We welcomed a group of people from Morchard Bishop Garden Club who came to visit in June. Altogether they spent several hours with us which included hearing about the background to the project and then taking a walkabout. The end of the visit was an opportunity for interesting discussion about how to develop markets for UK-grown herbal produce (thanks to Colin for the photo!). Visitors took away a sample of Distilled Witch Hazel. We have more dates planned in 2014 for visitors.
Holt Wood visitors, June 2013
Green Fair in Exeter
Look out for the Green Fair by the Cathedral in Exeter on Saturday 7th September 2013, from 10 am to 4 pm. We will be there on a stall for the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust. This is a new organisation dedicated to education and research to encourage sustainable harvesting and use of medicinal trees and shrubs. There will be information about a range of related projects and a raffle to raise funds with free samples of Herbal Insect Repellent.
Prickly Ash Bark (Zanthoxylum americanum)
Also called the ‘toothache tree’ as the bark and other parts such as the berries can be chewed (mind the thorns) to provide an analgesic remedy for toothache. The berries turn black as they ripen. We have planted Prickly Ash in one of the wide rides at Holt Wood and it is growing well, a bit like an over-sized gooseberry bush in habit. The whole plant contains coumarins and alkaloids, and the leaves are rich in essential oils (we find it is very aromatic) some of which are antispasmodic. Prickly Ash is known for its stimulating effects on peripheral circulation, sometimes given for leg cramps, but could have other applications.
Prickly Ash berries, August 2013