Reforesting Scotland logo

ForestHarvest: non-timber forest products in Scotland

GATHERING

 GATHERING | SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING | HARVESTING GUIDELINES | LEGAL AND ACCESS ISSUES | GATHERING CALENDAR
LINKS | SITE INDEX  

Gathering non-timber forest products

Domestic use

Gathering non-timber forest products can be an enjoyable pastime, as well as providing a convenient and free source of organic foods, herbal remedies, craft materials etc. See the products directory for more information.

Commercial collecting

A growing number of people in rural areas are collecting NTFPs such as mushrooms, foliage and native tree seeds as a means of supplementing their incomes. Contact details of some buyers are provided in the business directory.

See also the "Offers & requests" section of the news page to find what companies are asking for just now.


Gathering sustainably

Whether you are gathering NTFPs for your own consumption or for sale, it is important to do so sustainably. Find out more about sustainable harvesting.

Gathering legally

Access to the Scottish woods, and your rights to gather and hunt wild resources, are governed by law. Click here to find out more.

Gathering with permission

In addition to legal considerations, it is a matter of courtesy to request permission from the landowner before collecting NTFPs from their woods. If you aim to collect significant quantities for commercial purposes, this is essential. Maintenance of a good working relationship between collectors and landowners is vital for the long-term future of NTFP gathering.

Picking brambles
What and when to gather

Whatever the time of year, there is always something available in the Scottish woods. Find out what's on offer from month to month with the NTFP calendar.

Gathering safely

Make sure that you are properly prepared for the outdoors, and that you really know what you are looking for. Some fungi and plants are highly toxic. If you are hunting, follow the Code of Good Shooting Practice.

Gathering equipment

Much wild harvesting is done on a very ad hoc basis with a minimum of equipment. However, specialist equipment does exist, from hand-held berry scoops to large-scale bog myrtle harvesters.

Who's picking what?

See the results of a 2003 survey of plant-based non-timber forest product use in Scotland.