Responsible Foraging with Beautiful and The Feast

Responsible Foraging with Beautiful and The Feast

As part of our Hedgerow Adventure competition with Kudhva which is inspired by our Hedgerow cider and the bountiful Autumn season, we have invited the talented chefs from Beautiful and The Feast to lead an immersive foraging session and to cook up a 3-course meal using some of these foraged ingredients.

Beautiful and The Feast is a catering company based in Bude, Cornwall whose passion for food combined with their delightful culinary skills, helps connect us with the best food our environment has to offer.

Following the foraging session which will be led by Head Chef Craig, the chefs will be using some of these foraged wonders to incorporate into unique dishes as part of the evenings 3-course long table dining experience.

Cornish Orchards Head Cider Maker Chris has been working closely with Craig and the team over the coming days to carefully select one of the Cornish ciders from our range to pair with each course during the evening, really immersing us into the marriage of taste and nature.

Foraging responsibly

With the need to source ingredients closer to home and the abundance of cooking shows demonstrating how to use wild ingredients to add to your dish, foraging has become a very popular activity in the UK. However, if not done respectfully this type of activity can be detrimental to nature and can even pose some threats to you and your dinner guests.

To help you out, we have put together 5 of our top do’s and don’ts on foraging responsibly, just in case you are planning a little trip to explore nature and its wonder.

1)      Know what you are foraging

Knowledge is power.

Before heading out to forage, make sure you do your research. There are plenty of reputable sources online such as wildlife trusts and government legislation which have all the information you need. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) - link is a good place to start which will cover all of the following top tips and things to look out for.

 2)      Be aware of poisonous species

Never consume anything unless you know exactly what it is.

As fun as foraging is, it also has a dangerous side for you to be aware of. There are a lot of wild ingredients that are poisonous to eat or even touch. Maybe put together a visual guide to take out with you to highlight these species.

3)      Seek permission from the landowner

Some lands are protected by law or for conservation purposes.

All wild plants are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It is not always clear, but some areas of land may be protected by conservation trusts who identify the area as a Wild Food SSI Site (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) to protect:

  • a rare environment for the type of wildlife it attracts of which could be endangered
  • the wild ingredient itself could be very rare and endangered
  • due to ongoing scientific or conservation research

If you are unclear, make sure you seek permission from the landowner first before you set off on your foraging session.

4)      Make sure you leave enough for the wildlife

Wild food is vital for the survival of wildlife in the UK.

Resist the temptation to collect lots and make sure you only take what you need. Forage carefully to ensure there is enough for birds, mammals and other species to consume. This also allows the regeneration of certain plants and fungi.

5)      Treat the area with respect

Be aware of your surroundings.

At the end of the day, we are using nature to benefit ourselves, so we need to be respectful when foraging if we want to make sure we have the wonderful wildlife and species for future generations to enjoy. Make sure you don’t uproot the plant and stick to picking the leaves or berries. Pick in moderation and just be careful and aware of where you are treading, don’t trample down areas you are picking from.

At the end of the day, nature is giving us all a beautiful playground to enjoy so we need to make sure we treat the landscape and wildlife with the respect it deserves. There are plenty of other tips that you can research if you are wanting to learn more.

Stay in touch to hear more

We look forward to learning more about the type of ingredients that the wonderful cooks at Beautiful and The Feast will be using and what dishes they will select for our competition winners. Don’t miss out as we will be covering the full weekend in the coming weeks so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out more.

 

Posted by Beccy Price
15th October 2019

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