Foraging is a massive part of the Yalbury Cottage ethos and menu. Using and cooking with seasonal and readily available plants and flowers is something we like to do all year round, and in West Dorset we are so lucky to be surrounded by such a fruitful supply of wild foods!

The team at Yalbury Cottage love foraging and being in nature throughout the seasons, especially because it gives the chefs a reason to get adventurous in the kitchen, depending on what we find and when we find it! We grow a lot in our garden and greenhouse, and also get out and about to find what West Dorset has to offer!

As part of our ‘Going Green’ pledge we have really made a conscious effort to utilise what we have around us and are more aware than ever of how our business impacts the environment. Foraging is one of the many things we do to try and reduce our carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly, while also having a lot of fun in the process!

We have created a guide to what we forage in the different seasons and where we find everything, so that it may influence you to do the same, while giving you the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen with what you find!


Pine and Scotts’ Pine – Puddletown Forest

Pinenuts, Hazelnuts, Chestnuts – in the neighbouring village we have our friend Claire who lets us use her trees at ‘Puddletown Blueberries’ to forage different types of nuts!

Sloe Berries – everywhere in the hedgerows around forests in Dorset, we foraged them from Moreton forest!

Mahonia Flowers – around Lower Bockhampton and Stinsford


Wild garlic – Stinsford, outskirts of Kingston Maurward just around the corner!

Primrose – everywhere around Dorset, we find these in the woodlands around Stinsford and Thorncombe woods!

Wild Rhubarb – fields around Dorset, but we also grow garden rhubarb in our garden!

Woodruff – Puddletown Forest and shaded hedgerows all over Dorset

Wood sorrel – Puddletown Forest

Sweet alyssums – we grow these in our garden!

Gorse flowers – Hedgerows around Dorset – you can find these almost all year round but they do die in Winter and reappear in the Spring!

Marigold flowers – we grow these in our garden!

Black mustard – Hedges all around Dorset

Herbs – chives, parsley, mint varieties – we also grow these in our garden!


Sea Kale, Marsh Samphire , Rock Samphire, Wild fennel/Sea fennel– Chesil beach, near the sea growing on the beach, cliffs and rocks

Dulce – off the rocks of Portland

Borage – grown in our garden, can be found in Puddletown Forest and Stinsford

Elderflower – Stinsford along the river path, Puddletown forest

Chickory – hedges in Dorset, ususally in disturbed natural areas!

Corn flowers – all over Dorset countryside

Blueberries – Claire at ‘Puddletown Blueberries’

Red currants – fields around Dorset in massive bushes

English roses – our garden

Vine leaves – in our front garden growing up the cottage walls

Nasturtiums – we grow these in our garden!

Nettles – Puddletown forest, Lower Bockhampton and Stinsford

Herbs – basil, oregano and verbena – we grow these in our garden and greenhouse!

Geraniums – grown in our garden!

Meadowsweet – Stinsford river path

Wild garlic capers – Stinsford, outskirts of Kingston Maurward around the corner!


Blackberries (early Autumn) – Stinsford, river path, Thornecombe woods, Moreton forest

Mushrooms: ‘trumpet, puffball, penny, scarlet elf cap, chanterelle, morrells, hen of the woods, shaggy elf caps, parasol, bolete – around Hardyes monument, Puddletown forest, Moreton forest

Seabuckthorn – Weymouth

Crab apples, quinces, pears – hedges, all over the countryside and orchards

Rosehips – hedgerows all around Dorset – we have found them in Crossways!

Borage – end of summer into Autumn – in our garden!