Orkney’s Foraging Fortnight: 31st August – 15th September

From internationally renowned food experts and Arctic foragers to local storytelling and survival skills, the programme for the first ever Foraging Fortnight has 24 events taking place across Orkney as part of Orkney International Science Festival.

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This brand new festival brings together over a hundred events across five diverse regions of Scotland: 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 LEADER funded project will take place from 31st August – 15th September, allowing people to explore Scotland’s natural places and increase their knowledge of wild food and medicinal plants.

Events include:

  • Living Off the Land: Eva Gunnare, a food and culture connoisseur from Swedish Lapland will be running an event at Orphir sharing her insights into foraging in the Arctic Circle, blending traditional recipes with modern creations.
  • 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.
  • A Fireside Afternoon: An afternoon of island stories and Orkney legends with tea with beremeal biscuits and scones, organised specially for Foraging Fortnight at Orkney Folklore and Storytelling Centre in Sandwick. This is an opportunity to hear about the folklore, social customs and work traditions of families working the land and fishing the sea.
  • Foraging Workshops on Papay: learn to make halloumi and a simple soft cheese, and experiment with foraged ingredients, especially seaweeds, to add local flavour. Local food stories from Orkney Story Stack at lunchtime.
  • Flavours of the Wild: A talk at the Orkney Theatre from internationally renowned Ben Reade. He’s former head of culinary research and development at the Nordic Food Lab established by the founders of Copenhagen’s world-renowned Noma restaurant. He describes the possibilities of seaweeds, shellfish and common garden weeds, and fermented foods with simple ingredients transformed by wild microorganisms.


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.

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 is on www.foragingfortnight.co.uk .

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

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