A celebration of wild food and woodland is on the menu in the Black Mountains

This unique gathering is set to take place in Llwyn Franc and Arcadia Wood on the weekend of Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15, thanks to funding from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, this spring’s Wild Garlic Festival promises to be even better with foraging, wild forest cooking, expert speakers and a relaxing atmosphere all on the menu.

Day one, at Llwyn
Franc on the slopes of the Skirrid Mountain, will see guides taking foragers up to the woodland to pick their own wild garlic, before heading back to the farm for wild garlic and nettle soup. After lunch, Emily Stokes will talk about the work of the Woodland Trust, while Brigit Strawbridge will tell festival goers about wild bees.

The following day’s
activities will kick off with experts providing guided tours of Arcadia Wood in the nearby hamlet of Pantycelli, followed by a series of cooking demonstrations by Franco Taruschio – the manmade who Abergavenny’s Walnut Tree Inn famous for fine dining. Day two will also see talks by TV wild food expert and forager Raoul Van der Bourke, aquaculture specialist Lawrence Hutchinson and herbalist, writer and lecturer Christopher Robbins.

Llwyn Franc society
secretary Stephen Powell said of the festivities: “I think it’s appealing to
people who do not really have the time to get out there and have that intimacy and contact with nature and wild things, to be out there picking wild berries and fruit.

“We have acre upon acre of wild garlic here, it’s totally natural and not cultivated. The forests have the same effect on people as beautiful bluebell woodland, except you get you get this glorious green and white carpet together with this wonderful, pungent smell of garlic which appeals broadly to a number of senses.”

Cllr Evan Morgan,
Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, said: “As Chairman of the Sustainable Development Fund we are delighted to support unique projects and events like this, particularly in such a wonderful setting.

“I’m sure this year’s Wild Garlic Festival will build on the success of the 2011 event, and I would encourage visitors and locals alike to join in the foraging and sample some wild food cooked by top chefs.”

With space at the two venues limited for this year’s Wild Garlic Festival tickets, priced at £5, are selling fast so advanced booking is advised. To reserve your place or for more information visit www.communityforestfarm.co.uk.