Foraging for wild food
Foraging can help us to connect with and appreciate nature and reminds us that we need to take care of it. That’s why we support sustainable foraging for plentiful species of wild food, for personal use, in many of the places we care for.
We want to make sure you can forage sustainably and enjoy our sites as you wish, but also that the land we care for can continue to support healthy ecosystems. We welcome sustainable picking on most of our land, but we discourage excessive foraging.
Foraging code of conduct
To ensure that you are foraging sustainably, we ask that you follow this code of conduct:
- Please only pick for personal use and only pick as much as you will use. Always leave plenty for others to enjoy.
- Please identify species carefully and always be 100% certain of what you are picking, avoiding poisonous species. Please check a specimen before picking, not afterwards. Only take a sample of a specimen if you can’t identify it in the field. Please forage only common and abundant foods.
- Please avoid picking protected species and do not forage anything without consent on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). This is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. Please be aware of and never take rare, vulnerable or threatened species – only pick common and abundant species.
- Please don’t uproot or damage structures below ground without permission. This is illegal without consent under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and Theft Act 1968.
- Always be respectful and compliant in the countryside. Always stick to the Countryside Code: respect, protect and enjoy. Please keep to public rights of way or open access land unless you have the landowner’s permission to go elsewhere.
If you're ever in doubt about whether you should forage, please only take photos rather than specimen and leave some for others to enjoy.
Find the best places to go blackberry picking at the places in our care. Don't forget to bring your own bags, bowls or baskets to take home a free harvest of fresh fruit.
Wild garlic grows in moist woodland and you can forage for it at many places we care for including Downhill Demesne in Northern Ireland and Prior Park in Bath.
Ash dieback is a fungal disease affecting the country’s native ash trees. As many as four out of five ash trees may be affected and, where the dying trees could cause a threat to human safety, we need to remove them.
Find out how to give the gift of adventure with a range of membership options for Christmas. Plus, pay for a joint, family or individual membership by annual Direct Debit and get a free £15 gift card.