Foraging, art and history in the Kent Downs

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Nature and tales of the past are brought to life along the North Downs Way and around Canterbury by new projects engaging visitors with local knowledge and ages-old skills

Ear pressed to the pale bark, I listen. It’s March, the month when the sap of the silver birch rises. “You can hear it,” says Lucia as I close my eyes to concentrate. “It’s a gurgling, the tree’s lifeblood.”

Sadly, I hear nothing apart from a low traffic hum and Lucia rummaging in her basket. She produces a bottle of birch sap tonic that she’s made earlier. I take a sip. Refreshing. “Good with vodka,” Lucia notes.

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