VETCH : Vicia sativa
Properly known as common vetch as there are others to be found in the UK.
This fairly common plant with long, twining stems that have curly tendrils on the ends. It is often found on path verges, as here along the Leven towpath, as well as waste ground or along the coast.
It is a member of the pea family so is a legume. However the peas of this plant are toxic when raw. They have to be boiled for long periods in changes of water and are not really worth the effort.
Wildlife Trusts tells us that common vetch is able to make its own nitrates, a special nutrient essential for healthy plant growth. This makes it useful as a soil-fertilising plant and it is also often used as livestock fodder.
COSTWOLD SEEDS : https://www.cotswoldseeds.com/species/69/vetch