What is foraging?

Foraging is the act of searching and collecting food, such as berries, leaves and nuts in the wild. As humans, we have always foraged, we are natural gatherers and searchers of food. 

But foraging is not just about finding food, it’s about reducing waste, reducing our ecological footprint and educating future generations about food!

The ‘Eat Your Campus’ project in Loughborough is just one of similar projects around the UK. Loughborough Fruit routes combine foraging, the arts, biodiversity and community. There are over 54 different varieties of edible fruit and nut trees and over 550 hedgerow trees around the main 1 km long fruit route. 

A similar project happening in Sheffield is the ‘Abundance’ Project. The Abundance project was set up by Anne-Marie Culhane & Stephen Watts in 2007. The project was created to harvest trees, fruits and nuts across the city of Sheffield, all while giving back to the community! 

The Abundance project aims to have zero waste and the idea behind it is to reduce the need of importation from counties around the world for our produce in the UK. Currently, we are importing fruits and vegetables from places as far as New Zealand, although we are able to harvest the same produce here in the UK.

There is also a significant environmental benefit from foraging. By harvesting within the UK, we will limit the time our food travels to reach our plates and help reduce our carbon footprint. We know now the effects that climate change has had on our planet. And to adapt with small changes such as foraging, can only benefit our planet. 

Loughborough’s fruit routes, home to cherry trees, apple, sweet chestnut and walnut trees! Starting at The Shed, where a variety of plants, herbs and wildlife have a place to live, we begin the walk on campus, through Barefoot Orchard all the way through to Transcendental Orchard. As we return to The Shed, we are able to taste some of the harvested leaves and herbs, we learnt about the nutritional value of nettles and even sampled some young green lime leaves. 

Loughborough Fruit Routes enhance the biodiversity on campus and helps connect students, staff and locals by creating a community, where wildlife and agriculture can thrive as life goes by. As a campus, we should be getting involved to eat, cook and celebrate the harvest! 


Click to access GS-AbundanceHandbook-A5PrintVersion-6.11.16.pdf

What is foraging? Finding your food in the wild


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