Nature’s Velcro

The tiny hooks on the ends of Burdock burrs are waiting patiently for me to brush past them. Why use the wind to distribute your seeds when you can stow away on an unwary animal?

Burdock - Ham Wall - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’d like to harvest some of the roots of the younger plants but the UK’s Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) makes it illegal “to uproot any wild plant without permission from the landowner or occupier.”

If I’m rich and own the land it’s legal, if I’m poor and own nothing I’m a criminal, for the exact same act. In Britain, it’s one law for the rich and one for the poor – even when it comes to grubbing up roots, to eat, or just to make some home-made dandelion and burdock.

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