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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Foraging Festival Encourages People to Explore Wild Food

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Scotland’s festival of foraging is returning for 2022, with a packed programme of mainly in-person events, along with a few online. 

Foraging Fortnight, which takes place across the country from 3 to 13 September, celebrates our rich natural larder and the variety of wild food available on our doorsteps.

From riverside foraging walks and fungi forays to wild food workshops and topical talks and demos, Foraging Fortnight will allow people to increase their knowledge of wild food and medicinal plants.

The exciting programme includes restaurants with foraging menus, screenings, and foraging walks for all ages.

For businesses, SRUC workshops include building your story around foraged flavours and wild food ingredients, back garden edibles – such as foraging closer to home, increasing foraged flavours on your menu, as well as one-to-one surgeries to support the development of new products and services.

Foraging Fortnight is led by NatureScot, Scotland’s nature agency, in partnership with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and features events hosted by some of the country’s excellent foraging and wild food-based businesses.

The festival programme has been designed to encourage people of all ages to participate safely and responsibly in different foraging activities.

Offering a range of free and paid-for events, participants will be able to forage for medicinal plants, learn how to cook with wild ingredients or enjoy a taste of foraged food.

Events include a range of interesting indoor and outdoor events being run by Orkney International Science Festival between the 3 and 7 September, which include talks and lectures, workshops and excursions.

The full programme can be found on the festival website.

As well, the Scottish Wild Food Festival is again taking place at Tir na nOg, near Drymen, on 17 and 18 September.

This outdoor event – developed by local foraging businesses – will include a series of hands-on workshops, foraging walks and the chance to try freshly prepared food and drink made from wild ingredients.

The exciting programme includes restaurants with foraging menus, screenings, and foraging walks for all ages.

For businesses, SRUC workshops include building your story around foraged flavours & wild food ingredients, and back garden edibles – such as foraging closer to home, increasing foraged flavours on your menu, as well as one-to-one surgeries to support the development of new products and services.

Pete Moore, NatureScot’s Wildlife Resource Policy Officer, said:

“Foraging responsibly is a great way to spend time outdoors, engaging with and noticing nature.

“No matter where you live, you will not be far from tasty foraged food.

“We’re delighted to be hosting Foraging Fortnight this year, and welcoming so many interesting and innovative businesses and wild food experts to share their knowledge and skills.”

Ceri Ritchie, Head of Food and Enterprise at SAC Consulting (part of SRUC), said:

“This event highlights our natural environment and, recognising the value this can bring to food and drink and rural enterprises, we have curated five events specifically for businesses. 

“These events highlight the value foraging and wild food can bring to businesses, providing the opportunity to create something unique, tell an inspiring story and highlight product and service links to the natural environment, heritage, and sustainability.”

The festival aims to leave a legacy of increased public awareness and expertise of sustainable foraging along with a greater understanding of the health and wellbeing benefits of foraging in natural environments.

Foraging Fortnight events will encourage adherence to Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code and organisers have put together guidelines to ensure that those taking part are doing so in a safe and responsible way.

The full programme is available on www.foragingfortnight.co.uk

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