Project Description

Foraging Fortnight 2020

Those weeks in lockdown added to feeling that foraging is an idea whose time has come. For fresh air, for exercise, for general wellbeing, for nutrition, and for a clean fresh flavour, wild food that you gather yourself has so much to enjoy. We join forces with four mainland Scottish regions to present a varied mix of activities, including island outings, and walks along sections of the St Magnus Way, with chefs to advise us as well.

THE ROAD TO THE NORTH

August 29 → 2:00 pm2:45 pm

A professional ice hockey player turned mountaineer and photographer – Tristan Cameron-Harper’s love of the outdoors is bringing him north for Foraging Fortnight. He’ll be travelling over the Cairngorms, past the broch of Carn Luath, by the harbour and river of Dunbeath and on to Orkney, and sending stories and images along the way. He describes in conversation the call of the outdoors.

HEDGEROWS TO COASTLINE: A MORAY OUTING

August 29 → 3:30 pm4:15 pm

From the hedgerows of Marcassie to the Moray coast, Dan Puplett shows some common plants with a long history of uses – from rowan berries and hazelnuts to scurvy grass by the shore. After the film, there’s an opportunity for live questions. Dan, with degrees in environmental studies and environmental forestry, is involved in numerous projects in outdoor education and conservation across the north. He is also the author of the FSC Guide to British Bird Tracks and Signs.

OUTING: FORAGING THE OLD ROAD

August 30 → 2:00 pm2:45 pm

Walk through Binscarth Woods and over the hill to the Loch of Wasdale, on a section of the St Magnus Way. Orkney wildlife guide Megan Taylor looks out for wild plants while ethnobotanical researcher Anna Canning discusses their traditional uses for sustenance and health with foraging experts from Scotland and Poland. After the film there’s an opportunity for live questions to them both on aspects of wildlife and foraging.

FORAGING, FISH AND FIFE COAST TALES

August 30 → 3:30 pm4:15 pm

Our host is chef and food writer Wendy Barrie, leader of Slow Food Scotland’s Ark of Taste, and founder and director of the Scottish Food Guide. In a Nordic kitchen in Aberdour, with herbs and berries from cliff and shore, she creates three fish dishes, in the company of friends.

SHEEP ON THE SHORE

September 3 → 1:00 pm2:00 pm

North Ronaldsay’s native sheep forage seaweed. It’s now been discovered that seaweed in the diet can reduce greenhouse gas emission which helping weight gain. Siân Tarrant, warden of the 13-mile-long stone dyke confining the island sheep to the shore, introduces researchers. Dr Katerina Theodoridou of Queen’s University Belfast shows how dietary seaweed can cut methane and ammonia pollution and reduce soya usage. Dr Jessica Adams of Aberystwyth University describes how micro-organisms from the gut of North Ronaldsay sheep may assist macroalgae degradation for biofuel production. The enzymes involved may have potential for novel technologies and enzymatic cocktails, says Dr Luisa Ciano of Nottingham University.

RESOURCES ON THE SHORE

September 3 → 3:00 pm4:00 pm

This second part of the presentation from North Ronaldsay looks at resources from the shore. Siân Tarrant describes how the wool from the island’s seaweed-eating sheep is spun into much-valued yarn at the North Ronaldsay woolmill. Dr Katharina Vones of Dundee University and Dr Ian Lambert of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies describe their work in turning ocean plastic into filament for 3D printers.

SEAWEED FROM THE ARCTIC CIRCLE

September 4 → 11:30 am12:15 pm

Off Norway’s coast, right on the Arctic Circle, the cold clean waters around the little island of Træna produce fine seaweed, which the Northern Company harvests and sells. The company’s founder, Zoe Christiansen, describes its sea and laboratory work, in a small fishing community of less than 500 people, amidst spectacular scenery and northern light.

A HOY AND RACKWICK EVENING

September 4 → 7:00 pm7:30 pm

Take the ferry from Stromness to Moaness pier, and walk up the brae to the Hoy Kirk for seaweed soup for supper, with a recipe here for you to prepare at home in advance. Then sit back and enjoy some music, with the story of Jimmy o’ the Bu’s Polka, with memories from his grand-daughter Jean Thomson and his tune played by six of his great-great-grandchildren, including the fiddle that he played on. Then we hear the story of settlement in Rackwick from archaeologist Dan Lee.

WORKSHOP: PAPERMAKING FROM NATURAL MATERIALS

September 5 → 10:00 am12:00 pm

An opportunity to learn the basic elements of the art, as artist Lin Chau leads you through the process of mould and deckle making, preparing plant pulp fibre, pulling a sheet and couching it, then pressing the paper. All age groups are welcome, with no prior experience required, but numbers are limited, so booking is essential. The booking fee of £15 includes a starter pack (UK delivery only) with a simple meshed frame, 4 different kinds of plant fibre, a packet of Orkney native wild flower seeds, some pressed flowers, and 4 pieces of J-cloths. You will need some home items as well.

ALONG THE TIDE-MARK GATHERING DRIFT

September 5 → 3:30 pm4:15 pm

A beaver-chewed timber from North America, a sea heart from the rainforests of the southern Caribbean. A skate’s egg case, a lump of paraffin wax, and a lobster creel tag from Newfoundland. Martin Gray, who runs the Orkney Beachcombing page, describes the wealth of treasures that wash up on an Orkney shore and the searching and foraging quest that has taken Orcadians to the shore since Neolithic times and before.

GRAEMSAY AHEAD

September 6 → 10:30 am11:15 am

There’s an opportunity to explore the island in 360-degree photospheres, and learn about its natural history and cultural heritage. Hidden within the photospheres you'll discover multimedia gems of all kinds for you to enjoy from home. Sail from Stromness with Katy Firth of Stromness Museum and enjoy the view of the harbour. On the island you will see Sandside Bay and the lighthouse, and views across Hoy Sound, and hear more of Graemsay's story.

THE WAY BACK HOME

September 8 → 8:00 pm8:45 pm

Could life after lockdown provide an opportunity for reflection, and a return to a healthier relationship with the natural world? We are an intrinsic part of it, says Elizabeth Woodcock, walk leader, horticulturist and writer. She interweaves the work of writers, poets and scientists with images of the surrounding landscape of the Cumbrian Fells, to explore gardens, brains, lanes and life.

FORAGING AND FISH TANNING WITH ZEKI BASAN

September 12 → 2:00 pm2:15 pm

Turning a waste product into something beautiful and usable is one of the skills practiced by wilderness instructor Zeki Basan at his home in a remote part of the Cairngorms. He shows a short film about the process and provides an outline of what to do. He also show scenes of the landscape around him, and some of the plants that he forages.

OUTING: FORAGING BY THE FLOW

September 12 → 3:30 pm4:15 pm

We go over to Orphir and a walk across the sands of Waulkmill Bay and up through the RSPB’s Hobbister reserve on a section of the St Magnus Way. It’s a journey from sandflats and saltmarsh to moorland and sea cliffs for ethnobotanical researcher Anna Canning and Orkney wildlife guide Megan Taylor, as they look out for wild plants and discuss their traditional uses for sustenance and health with foragers from Scotland and Poland.

SLOW WOODLANDS

September 13 → 2:00 pm2:45 pm

An opportunity to unwind amongst trees and woodland, with a look at some of the plants and the stories behind them, with Rox Madeira. She is the creator of the Little Alchemists’ Club and wants to encourage families to enjoy slow, local, seasonal, healthy eating, connected to a sense of place.

BENEATH THE APPLE TREES

September 13 → 3:30 pm3:35 pm

Andrew Carmichael with the view from one of the old apple orchards of the Upper Clyde Valley.

DID YOU REALLY WANT TO WORK ON THE LAND, DAD?

September 13 → 3:40 pm4:30 pm

The fruit you can sometimes forage today in parts of the Clyde Valley is the remnant of a once-great industry, whose produce was grown and processed and transported to markets across the country. The area has a history of orchards, going back hundreds of years. Today some continue in cultivation while others lie abandoned, a home for wildlife. The Lanarkshire Songwriters have gathered memories from growers and pickers of the great days of Lanarkshire apples and plums, strawberries and tomatoes, and turned them into songs with schools and members of the community, on a CD called Fruits of Their Labours. Billy Stewart, Ian Walker, Martin Coffield and John Young join us to describe the land and its traditions in words and music.