Merlin Wild Food Foraging Quest
Join us for a Wild Food Foraging Quest in honour of Merlin in the reforested Native Woodlands of the Moffat Hills with ecologist and wild food forager Alison Murfitt
Join us for a wild food foraging Quest in the forest that Merlin lived as a wild man of the woods in the atmospheric Moffat hills. Conservationalist and wild food foraging expert, Alison Murfitt knows these hills so well as a ranger for Borders Forest Trust, who are replanting the area in native woodlands. Alison will be joined by environmental artist, Jan Hogarth who has researched the Merlin story and the healing properties of the landscape in this area of Southern Scotland. Taste a variety of wild foods, and learn about their medicinal properties and the stories behind them.
Hartfell and Corehead in the hills above Moffat was part of the Forest of Celyddon (Caledonian Forest) and where the real Merlin hid out and lived as a wild man of the woods in the 6th century. He was thought to be a knight and/or druid who driven mad with grief, after seeing his king, Gwenddolau and compatriots killed in battle at Arderydd at Longtown. After the bloodbath of a battle Merlin flees north to take refuge in the Forest of Celyddon. He was said to lived in nature from where he prophesised the future, drinking out of healing springs, talking to the animals and often “shapeshifting”, which is a shamanic practice of taking on their identity of the animal in order to experience what they see, hear, smell and feel their energy. Hiding in an apple tree and foraging for food from nature to keep himself alive, it was a harsh existence in winter and a beautiful abundant place in summer.