Events

Foraging in Orkney: Future Events

Scotland’s new foraging festival will come back to Orkney again in 2020.

Foraging Spoots

Following the success of the first Foraging Fortnight in September 2019 Orkney’s Foraging Fortnight: 31st August – 15th September, the national organisers are planning a new expanded programme for 2020.

The LEADER-funded festival aims to encourage people of all ages to become more aware of the benefits of wild plants around us. Events include guided foraging outings, talks, workshops and cookery demonstrations.

foraging edible plants and berries

Orkney is one of five Scottish regions to participate, along with Moray, Fife, Lanarkshire, and Forth Valley and Lomond. The full programme across the five regions will be announced in early March on www.foragingfortnight.co.uk.

The Orkney involvement is through a collaboration with Orkney International Science Festival, with foraging events providing an added dimension to the festival’s programme from 3-9 September, and also covering the weekends before and after.

Among the visiting speakers for 2020 will be Zoe Christiansen from the island of Træna in northern Norway. The Træna group of islands lie on the Arctic Circle, around 33 miles offshore, and they have developed an edible seaweed industry, harvesting and selling hand-picked seaweeds.

Other events in the programme will include outings to Hoy and Rousay and Papay, foraging walks from the Tomb of the Eagles and along the St Magnus Way, papermaking from natural materials, and a workshop on Swedish baking with food from the sea.

With the sea elements accompanying the landward ones, the events will link to the programme for the Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020. The Festival is working on plans for a range of further events for the themed year.

The full science festival programme for next year – the 30th – will include topics from genetics to astrophysics, and from Neolithic ship-building to the latest news of tidal power devices. Full details will be announced in the spring, with updates on its website www.oisf.org as the plans take shape in the weeks ahead.

Alison Barclay , Development Officer at Orkney LEADER said:

“The collaboration with the Science Festival went really well, enabling Orkney to join the Foraging Fortnight development, and I’m delighted with the number of people that took part. The foraging events were enjoyed by local people and festival visitors alike. I am looking forward to the plans for 2020 and I am sure that they will capture the imagination of people locally and beyond.”

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.

People going foraging

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