Scotland's first Wild Food Festival

Woman and child on a foraging walk
Hannah Downey

On 14th September Scotland’s first ever Wild Food Festival will take place at the stunning Cardross Estate near Port of Monteith. The festival will feature a range of interactive foraging workshops, wild walks exploring the estate and long table dinners.

Central to this truly unique festival is a group of 12 local people who have been brought together on a programme aimed to enable more local businesses to include wild food and foraging in the activities they offer. The programme, devised by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods, in partnership with Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER is designed to leave a legacy of skills that will be showcased at the festival itself.

Participants include chefs like Marysia Paszkowska who, in addition to the feast she’s preparing, will use the festival to present an artisan bread making workshop; Lauren Lochrie who will demonstrate foraging for medicinal plants; Trossachs Wild Apothecary, Rokhsaneh Madeira who will introduce visitors to the mood-improving benefits of foraging and look at wild superfoods; Charlotte Flowers who will be showcasing her award-winning chocolate, which is created using foraged botanicals; and Nicola Hornsby of Wild Ices of Achray who will be on hand to provide a taste of new wild ice creams. A range of ready to eat food and wild food produce stalls will also be available including Perthshire Preserves and Stone Lands Kitchen.

The beguiling Cardross Estate stretches over 4,500 acres of park, wood and farmland and the festival will be the first of its kind to be hosted in the grounds, offering a venue with a rich variety of foraging habitats. Perched above the River Forth with spectacular views in every direction, Cardross Estate is within easy reach of three of Scotland’s major cities - Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Douglas Johnston, Chair of Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER says:

“The Scottish Wild Food Festival is a ground-breaking project that encourages people to learn more about foraging and understand its benefits. This area is rich in wild food, making it a perfect location for the festival with an abundance of ingredients for people to explore. I’m delighted to launch the first festival of its kind in Scotland at Cardross Estate”.

The Scottish Wild Food Festival is one of the key events of Foraging Fortnight, a LEADER funded project that draws together events across Forth Valley and Loch Lomond, Fife, Lanarkshire, Orkney and Moray.  Foraging Fortnight runs from 31st August to 15th September. The festival is also part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, which runs 31st August – 15th September.  The Scottish Wild Food Festival will be repeated in May 2020 with dates yet to be announced.

Find out more about the Wild Food Festival and other events taking place in Foraging Fortnight on their website.