Did you know that dandelion leaves are high in vitamin C and minerals, and the young leaves can be used in salads? That chickweed is rich in magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and can be used like spinach? That nettles are a good source of protein and calcium and can be eaten in soups, stews, omelettes and pesto?

You can find information about these and other plants in a booklet specially produced to accompany foraging activities.

It brings together material provided by Scottish Natural Heritage (now becoming NatureScot) and researcher Anna Canning of Floramedica. It was produced as part of the Foraging Fortnight initiative, with support from the LEADER programme.

The booklet mentions some of the plants that we think of as weeds, which not so long ago were prized for nutrition.

There are recipes as well, for nettle soup and elderflower cordial, and a weedburger too.

There’s also food from the shore – sea lettuce and dulse, thongweed (sea spaghetti), and a recipe for sugar kelp crisps.

Most importantly, there is guidance from NatureScot on being safe in identifying what to eat and what to avoid, and on being responsible in what you take.

You can also find information on the NatureScot website about plants which can be foraged, and guidance on safety, and the project Scotland’s Natural Larder.

There is also information and safety guidance on the Foraging Fortnight website.

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