Is it legal to tap trees on public land in the UK? I'm thinking of tapping sycamore trees in a local wood on an overnight trip in the spring.
Also, am I correct in the assumption that the last week of March would be a good time for the trip?
Reading online, I have found that there is no hard and set rule for knowing when to tap, but in the second half of March you should check trees on a regular basis (every day or so) by doing the following.
Simply take a sharp point (I used the tip of the drill) and at about a meter from the ground drive it in past the bark layer, typically 6mm is fine. Give it a little wiggle up & down to loosen the fibres. Now the moment of truth, if the sap is running it will form a droplet within 30 seconds or so. If this doesn’t happen simply revisit the tree every few days at this time of year.
Source: Sycamore tapping