To us it's a tree but to Ray...

Ray Mears shares his knowledge on some of the extraordinary uses for our everyday trees...

 

 

Ray Mears reading Country Walking magazine

 

Sweet chestnut:

"The obvious benefit is eating the nuts. But the bark will make a perfectly strong container for just about any small items; and it will give you a string that's formidably strong too.

The tannin also makes a superb wound-wash; basically it will help you generate scar tissue more quickly."

 

Balsam fir:

"Boil the bark and it will make a great antiseptic on a cut or burn."

 

Sycamore:

"Your average kitchen breadboard probably comes from sycamore. And if you burn the bark it's soporific to bees, so it's often used in beekeeping to keep them docile."

 

Lime:

"Incredible rope - strong enough to lower you off a cliff."

 

Horse chestnut:

"Great soap, and you can make sunscreen from its sap. Oh, and fish poisons too.

But that's the thing with bushcraft - we wouldn't use horse chestnut sap for fish poison now, there's no logical need for it.

We concentrate on applied bushcraft - the stuff you really need. But it's important to know the theory and to remember what things can be used for."

 

Every tree...

"... has a use, and our job is to take care of it, remember what the uses are and pass them on."

 

To read a full interview with Ray about what makes him tick buy the latest edition of Country Walking out this week!