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."



"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."



"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!