First Foraging Fortnight programme launches

Seaweed forager Jayson Byles shows local children his craft in Fife’s East Neuk. Photo courtesy Gerardo Jaconelli
Norette Ferns

The programme for the first-ever Foraging Fortnight has launched, with events ranging from woodland walks to wild food feasts to foraged cocktails!

This LEADER-funded project takes place from 31 August to 15 September and will feature a wide range of events across five diverse regions of Scotland: Lanarkshire, Fife, Moray, Forth Valley and Loch Lomond, and Orkney.

The festival programme has been designed to encourage people of all ages to participate safely and responsibly in different foraging activities, while discovering some of the most breath-taking parts of Scotland. Offering a range of free and paid-for tickets, each region has tailored the two-week festival to showcase its surroundings and unique local flora. Participants will be able to forage for medicinal plants, learn how to cook with wild ingredients or attend one of the many feasts of foraged food. 

Events include:

  • The Scottish Wild Food Festival: taking place on 14 September on Cardross Estate in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. This brand-new event will include a series of hands-on foraging, mindful workshops, folklore walks throughout the estate and the chance to try freshly prepared food and drink made of wild ingredients. The event will also include spectacular one-table feasts from Buck & Birch’s Rupert Waites and Marysia Paszkowska of Monachyle Mhor.
  • Living Off the Land: Eva Gunnare, a food and culture connoisseur from Swedish Lapland will be running a series of events across all five regions sharing her insights into foraging in the Arctic Circle, blending traditional recipes with modern creations.
  • Forage to Make Hedgerow Jelly: A free event at Fife’s Cambo Estate showing participants how to forage for ingredients to make your own hedgerow jelly.
  • Clyde Valley Apple Walk: an exploration of Clyde Valley’s heritage apple trees with a historical walk through Kirkfieldbank Community Orchard where the past is brought to and nature, conservation and food production go hand in hand.
  • Explore the Edible Seashore: the opportunity to explore marine life and discover the edible seaweeds that grow locally in Moray along with a demonstration to show how coastal ingredients can be cooked.
  • Old Ways and New Journeys: this Orkney event contains fascinating insights from instructor Zeki Basan, who grew up in a remote part of the Cairngorms. A glacier guide in Iceland and a wilderness instructor in Scotland, he describes the skills of survival used in the past in Scotland and by indigenous people today.

Catharine Idle, Programme Coordinator for LEADER in Fife, said:

"This is the first time an event like this has taken place in Scotland and I’m delighted by the strength, diversity and ambition of the programme.  From mindful workshops and wild food feasts to talks from internationally renowned wilderness experts, Foraging Fortnight truly celebrates Scotland’s rural areas and shows the wealth of opportunities for everyone to get involved in foraging.”

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. The festival will be repeated in May 2020 in four of the regions and in September 2020 in Orkney.

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

The full programme will be announced on

Foraging Fortnight is part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, which runs from 31 August to 15 September.