Wing News

Totton Air Cadets live off the land

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2498 Totton Squadron Air Cadets were invited by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to spend a day living off the land as our Bronze Age relatives did many years ago at their Testwood Lakes Centre in Totton Hampshire.

The cadets were briefed on the wild plants and their uses in cooking and medication. They were then sent out to harvest the wild plants, including Yarrow, Mint, Lemon Balm and most importantly Stinging Nettles for lunch!

They were taught how to prepare the plants for eating, making tea and for medical use and were then shown and given the opportunity to make and light fires using several different methods to prepare for cooking.

The meal of the day was fried nettles which despite reservations eating them proved to taste like chewing wall paper. The various different blends of tea using yarrow, mint & lemon balm were very interesting leaving a long lasting unusual taste in the mouth. Thank goodness for packed lunches!

Preparation of the yarrow plant to make medicinal poultices came next, along with making string from the nettle stalks. This was then used to apply poultices and bandages using large leaves tied in place with the nettle string.

This amazing day was topped off with a visit to the full size bronze age round house on the site.

Commanding Officer Flt Lt Gary Harding praised the staff of the Testwood Lakes Centre for a very informative, interesting, worthwhile hands-on day which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.