Foraging festival returns for 2021 with exciting online and in-person events

18 August 2021

Scotland’s festival of foraging is returning for 2021, with a programme of exciting online and in-person events for participants of all ages. 

Foraging Fortnight, led this year by NatureScot with support from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), takes place across the country from 11 to 25 September, celebrating Scotland’s 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 and use of wild food and medicinal plants.

Foraging Fortnight features events hosted by some of the country’s foraging and wild food-based businesses, with events for people of all ages to participate safely and responsibly. With 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.  

The fortnight’s events include the Scottish Wild Food Festival taking place on 18th and 19th September at ‘Tir na nOg’ near Drymen.  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.

Rox Madeira, from Trossachs Wild Apothecary, will run a series of wild food and medicines foraging walks with an emphasis on using wild plants to boost immunity and enhance health.

Jayson Byles, from East Neuk Seaweed, will tempt the palate with sustainably harvested seaweed from the Fife shoreline and teach you how to use and store small harvests of seaweed. 

Henderson’s in Edinburgh will take a walk on the wild side with a special menu for the day featuring wild food from across Scotland, while Wild Roots Guiding will offer a three-day, two-night journey combining walking, foraging and landscape storytelling on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.

The festival also aims to help businesses, with a webinar on wild food innovation by SRUC, and a product development surgery by SAC Consulting, part of SRUC, offering free, bespoke advice to businesses working in the wild food and drink sector. 

Becky Shaw from NatureScot said: “Foraging responsibly is a great way to spend time outdoors, enjoying nature. No matter where you live, you’re likely not far from tasty foraged food.  We’re delighted to be hosting Foraging Fortnight this year, with so many interesting and innovative businesses and wild food experts sharing their knowledge and skills.”

Ceri Ritchie, Food and Enterprise Sector Manager at SAC Consulting, added: “This event highlights our natural environment and we recognise the value this can bring to rural food and drink and food tourism enterprises, providing the opportunity to create something unique and inspiring by building the natural environment, heritage and sustainability into a product and service offering.”

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 following 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 the Foraging Fortnight website.