New foraging festival encourages people to explore Scotland

Foraging Fortnight, a brand-new festival taking place across five diverse regions of Scotland this autumn, has been announced.

From coastal exploration to herbal wellness, wild food feasts to fireside evenings and topical talks, Foraging Fortnight will allow people to explore Scotland’s natural places and increase their knowledge of wild food and medicinal plants through a series of events.

The LEADER funded project will take place from 31st August – 15th September across five of Scotland’s distinct regions:  From the rolling hills of Lanarkshire, the golden beaches and fields of Fife; the mountains and coast of Moray; to the woodlands and lochs of the Forth Valley and Loch Lomond area; and the diverse islands of 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 already confirmed in the growing line up include The Scottish Wild Food Festival taking place on 14th September on Cardross Estate in the Forth Valley and Loch Lomond area. This brand-new event will include a series of hands-on workshops, bread-making courses, 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.

Further north, a significant part of the acclaimed Orkney International Science Festival will be dedicated to the theme with foraging walks, food workshops and a look at the health and nutrition benefits of seaweed with an evening of Neolithic inspired foraged food.  The festival welcomes Eva Gunnare from Swedish Lapland who will be giving talks and tastings on summer foraging for Arctic herbs and Zeki Basan from the Cairngorms, who will be hosting a series of workshops from tanning fish skins to bush craft outings.

Wendy Barrie, Scottish Food Guide said:

“Scotland is an ideal place for foraging; from woodland fungi and flowers to seashore areas.  The five regions taking part in Foraging Fortnight will showcase the true diversity of habitats and we hope that the events will provide opportunities for visitors and local communities alike to discover some really special places.  Foraging is an activity that’s outstanding for mental and physical fitness and something that is truly accessible to everyone.”

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, added:

“It’s great to see this exciting new initiative take place during this year’s Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, which celebrates Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink and the role it plays in driving a vibrant tourism sector. Foraging Fortnight will encourage curious foodies to get out and about and discover some of the fantastic wild produce that grows along the coasts and in the woodlands of Scotland, offering everyone the opportunity to explore, learn and be inspired by our iconic scenery and diverse local larder.”

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 31st August to 15th September.