Nature & Wildlife Journal

First Wild Blackberry Picking in England

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2 weekends ago, I went wild blackberry picking for the first time ever. I heard that normally the peak season for blackberries in the UK is between mid-July and September; but I wasn’t sure how good they would be this year, due to the lack of rain and hot weather.

Wild blackberry bushes in England - photo taken by me, Sehee in the World

We ventured out with 3 containers, 15~20 minutes away from home, where Josh’s grandmother had seen a lot of wild blackberries. Indeed, we saw many in various conditions on a hill slope where few people would choose to walk. Alongside the wild blackberries was plenty of evidence of rabbits and foxes. They must’ve been very happy seeing all these foods and tucking in!

Wild blackberries on bushes in England - photo taken by me, Sehee in the World

I asked Josh which ones I should take, to which he advised me to pick ones that were not mushy, but instead fairly firm and a rich black. He also added that I should avoid ones that looked bulbous, where flies might have had a go. Besides these tips, I didn’t pick those low to the ground, because any wildlife or strolling dogs could access them. Finally (phew so many things to avoid for perfect blackberries!), knowing we were not the only ones into the blackberry picking idea, I rarely touched ones alluring us too easily; this was to minimise any COVID-19 risks (of touching things others might have previously touched).

Picking wild blackberries in England - photo taken by me, Sehee in the World

Maybe being the first time picking wild blackberries, I struggled to fill a container, taking so many conditions into account. To me, it simply looked as if there were not enough good blackberries! On the contrary, the others’ containers were all nicely full.

(If anyone reading this has trypophobia, be aware of the following photos of the containers full of picked wild blackberries!)

Wild blackberries picked and kept in a container - photo taken by me, Sehee in the World

As it was getting close to lunchtime, we decided to head back. My blackberry container was still only a third full. Josh’s grandmother, a master fruit picker (who grew up on a fruit farm), helped me out as a novice. It felt my clock went backwards to childhood, as I had great fun as if I was an 8-year-old girl.

3 full containers of wild blackberries - photo taken by me, Sehee in the World

After coming back home, I suggested leaving a photo of our hands; our fingers were dyed dark-ish purple from picking the wild blackberries.

Our fingers and hands dyed purple from picking wild blackberries - photo taken by me, Sehee in the World

Fyi, it’s fine to pick wild blackberries, commonly available across the UK, as long as it’s not for commercial use.

These 3 full containers of wild blackberries contributed as great ingredients to our tasty homemade desserts last week. We enjoyed the blackberry-themed puds so much that I forgot to take proper photos of blackberry & apple crumble, blackberry clafoutis and blackberry & apple compote…

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