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Wild Harvests from Scottish Woodlands Social, cultural and economic values of contemporary non-timber forest products

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Emery, Marla; Martin, Suzanne; Dyke, Alison; Dyke, Alison

Year Published

2006

Publication

Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. 1?40.

Abstract

More than 30 people were interviewed about the wild edibles, medicinals, and craft materials they collect and the part that collecting plays in their lives as part of the Wild Harvests from Scottish Woodlands project. Interviews were conducted in autumn 2004. Collecting non-timber forest products (NTFPs) is a source of joy and satisfaction for many of those interviewed, including a member of the House of Lords in his castle, an unemployed gentleman in a fisherman?s cottage, a biology teacher on the outskirts of Dumfries, and a young farmer on the Black Isle. As a group, research participants mentioned 208 NTFPs derived from 97 vascular plants and 76 fungi and other non-vascular species. Edibles uses were most common, followed by beverages, craft, garden and medical uses. Most NTFP gathering is for personal and family use, followed in importance by gifts, informal economy, and barter. Gatherer profiles are used to illustrate that with commercial collection, often 'the sums don't add up', but the importance of NTFP collection for personal and cultural identity, social cohesion, public health and happiness is vast. The results suggest there is potential for active management of NTFPs in public and private woodlands as well as some cautions. A number of recommendations for policy, practice, and future research are made.

Citation

Emery, Marla; Martin, Suzanne; Dyke, Alison 2006. Wild Harvests from Scottish Woodlands Social, cultural and economic values of contemporary non-timber forest products. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. 1?40.

Last updated on: October 18, 2007