South Scotland

'Wild food' theme for south of Scotland nature festivals

Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford Image copyright ROB MCDOUGALL
Image caption Sir Walter Scott foraged for herbal remedies around his Abbotsford home

Almost 200 years ago Sir Walter Scott relied on herbs found near his home in Borders to counter health problems.

Journal entries record that he used "scalding fomentations of camomile flowers" to ease a stomach complaint.

This spring some of the world-renowned writer's favourite herbal remedies will be uncovered in a special foraging expedition.

It is part of a programme of events for two south of Scotland nature festivals, uniting to promote "wild food".

Organisers of the Dumfries and Galloway Wild Spring Festival and the Scottish Borders Nature Festival want to help festival goers safely experience the burgeoning revival in foraged food.

From April to June, they will be hosting events where people can learn more about the conservation of local food at its source.

'Delicious and healthy'

Professional forager Ali Murfitt will lead the exploration of Abbotsford, which was once home of Sir Walter Scott, where there are now more than 200 species of flora.

She said: "Foraging inspired and helps people to love the nature on their doorsteps.

"It highlights how much wild land, habitat and plants we have lost (and are continuing to lose) and how important it is to get involved and support habitat restoration and conservation.

"If native trees are chopped down or ecological habitats destroyed, we lose and important and sustainable source of delicious and healthy gourmet ingredients, which are greatly valued by some of the UK's top chefs and mixologists."

The Dumfries and Galloway festival will run from 3 April until 5 May, while the Borders events will be held between 14 May and 13 June.

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