Wild Food for the Soul: The Benefits of Foraging

What is foraging?

Foraging is the act of searching, identifying, and collecting food resources in the wild such as fruit, fungi, flowers, nuts, seeds and vegetables. For our distant ancestors foraging would have been a way of life, and while most of us head to the supermarket aisles to pick our food, there is a growing number of hunter-gatherers who go to local parks, forests, hedgerows, and the coast to forage.

Apart from the fact its cost-free, the benefits of foraging are plentiful.

Benefits of Foraging:

  • Foraging is good for your mind and body. Being in nature, breathing the fresh air and (hopefully) feeling the sunshine on our face, calms our stress responses, makes us slow down and grounds us.
  • Foraging for wild food is a fun activity to share with kids, your partner, or friends.
  • You get a sense of achievement and adventure when you do find something or identify something new.
  • Foraging allows us to reconnect with nature and be more mindful of our environment.
  • Living off the land = free food that’s fresh and organic.
  • Bonus benefit: Gift the fruits of your labour. Use your foraged food to make homemade jams and chutneys, and then put together a Christmas hamper for family and friends.

Where to forage?

Foraging for personal use is legal in the UK - but conservation organisations and councils can pass bylaws to prevent foraging in specific areas. If in doubt, it’s best to check or seek permission.

How to forage safely and responsibly:

  • Only take what you mean to consume.
  • Leave plenty behind for others and for wildlife.
  • Avoid foraging along busy roads, where plants and fruit are exposed to exhaust fumes, as well as areas where animals pee.
  • Only pick what you know and beware poisonous species. Never consume a wild plant unless you're certain what it is. It could be rare and protected, inedible or even deadly poisonous. Mushrooms can be tricky to identify, so it's usually best to leave them alone.
  • Don't touch rare species. Some species are protected by law, so know what not to collect. Ancient woodlands can contain many rare species so take extra care.
  • Only collect from plentiful populations so they can grow year after year.

Whatever your reason for foraging, the UK has a lot to offer year-round, and the benefits are bountiful. Quite simply, foraging is food for the soul!


  • The best part is using those picked ingredients later in cooking. The rare species knowledge and protection is I wish communicated properly to people where foraging is allowed, to keep them preserved for future. The more populated ingredients foraging is a good point. Like it. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger
    Lifestyle Prism

    Isa A
  • I have never done this before but I love the idea of going to a place where I can pick berries and get vegetables etc. These are some really helpful tips and things to remember. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

  • Very informative blog post! 🍄


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