Foraging in Angus

Foraging in Angus

Sweet Cicely and Rhubarb set in Carageen

Fiona Bird explains how to take advantage of the wild larder on your doorstep

Fiona Bird's profession and passion sees her charging around Scotland on two missions: to get children cooking, and to encourage us to eat for free by raiding the landscape (responsibly).

Splitting her time between Angus and South Uist, she is particularly interested in seaweeds, scouring the shores for a host of sea vegetables including laver, dulse and carrageen. She loves Angus for its varied land and seascapes. 'The wild larder is vast and once a forager gets his or her eye in they will see wild ingredients everywhere,' says Bird. 'Start with brambles, and before you know it you'll be adding sorrel (nature's lemon) to your bramble and apple crumble.'

Fledgling foragers should also look out for sweet cicely from March to July, with recipes in Bird's book The Forager's Kitchen. 'Bruise a leaf between finger and thumb and you will smell aniseed,' she explains. This differentiates it from its toxic cousin hemlock, which also has a blotchy red stem!

Bird stresses the importance of harvesting just enough for your own use and no more; never taking more than a sixth of what's on offer, and not pulling out any roots.