A series of guides and films to encourage increased responsible foraging in Scotland has been launched by LEADER, following the successful Foraging Fortnight project.
The free-to-access resources can be found at https://www.foragingfortnight.co.uk/foraging-guidelines/ and include specially commissioned videos and guides that enable people of all ages to participate in foraging and engage with nature. There are guides to foraging for wild food but also details of how exploring nature in this way can improve mental and physical wellbeing. There are guides especially aimed at children, including a colourful activity book and details of how to cook with foraged food. Other guides are translated into Gaelic and are an ideal learning resource. The videos feature highlights from Moray, Forth Valley & Lomond, Lanarkshire, Orkney and Fife. Further videos will show chefs cooking with wild ingredients and also those that allow viewers to explore the natural harvest on their doorstep.
There’s even a guide that aims to be a useful resource for those looking to hold a successful and safe future foraging events - something there has been a growth in over recent years.
The move comes after a series of successful events run as part of Foraging Fortnight in 2019 and 2020. 2019 saw a programme of over a hundred events take place in Lanarkshire, Forth Valley and Lomond, Moray, Orkney and Fife that included coastal forages, nature-based wellness events, cookery demonstrations and a unique wild food festival in the Stirlingshire woods. 2,570 people attended these events in 2019. 2020 saw Foraging Fortnight move to the virtual sphere and its 50 events viewed more than 11,700 times in less than a month with people from all over the world taking part.
Douglas Johnston, Chairman, Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER said:
“LEADER has developed Foraging Fortnight over the last two years and we’ve seen unprecedented interest in foraging over this time. The project has shown that there’s a real appetite for activities that allow people to engage with nature. This has been particularly true in 2020 when exploring the natural environment on our doorsteps has become more important than ever before. Our calendar of events appealed not only to local communities but also drew interest from across the world. I’m delighted that the project will leave this legacy of resources that will continue to inspire and encourage people across Scotland to forage. Foraging is truly something that everyone can get involved in and these guides will encourage people to do this in a responsible way.”
The LEADER-funded festival programme was 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 Lanarkshire, Moray, Forth Valley & Lomond, Fife and Orkney. The project aimed 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 encouraged adherence to Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code.
NatureScot, which will continue to promote the Foraging Fortnight resources and responsible foraging beyond 2020, has collaborated with LEADER on the project.