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About this tutorial
Hello! In this tutorial, we are going to meet some of the most common berries you are likely to find on a late summer or early autumn walk in the country. Are you ready? Lets get started!
P.S. If you are looking for ways to grow your foraging confidence, check out this online foraging course by The Herbal Academy x
Which are our most common hedgerow berries?
One of the best places to start looking for wild fruits and berries are the hedgerows bordering our roads and country lanes. And, if you take a stroll and keep your eyes open in late summer and autumn, you are sure to see all sorts of wild fruit adorning the twigs and branches. Some of these berries are edible and some of them are poisonous – so be sure to know with exact certainty that the berries you are picking are edible if you go foraging.
Here are some of the wild fruits and berries you can expect to meet:
Blackthorn berries can be black or deep blue with a light blue bloom. They are small, round and have long thorns.
Brambles are one of our most easily identified hedgerow berries and I am sure, need no description.
Damsons can be purple, reddish or blueish, and egg-shaped or round. Unlike blackthorn, they do not have thorns.
Guelder rose berries are bright red – almost translucent, nearly perfectly round and hang in clusters.
Honeysuckle berries are smallish, round and bright red. They grow in small clusters between the paired leaves.
Rowan (mountain ash)
Rowan berries hang in clusters and look like minature, bright orange or red apples, with inward dimpled bases.
Wild rose hips are, smooth, orangey-red egg-shaped, pinched at the bottom and ending in a slightly tufted base.
What other wild berries are there?
In addition to the fruits and berries mentioned above, there are of course many others. When trying to identify them, remember, that some berries change colour as they mature, e.g. tutsan starts off red and turns black. Here area few of them:
- Red: Whitebeam, yew, nightshade, holly, bryony, tutsan, raspberries, strawberries, wild cherries, lingon
- Black: Bryony, nightshade, ivy, tutsan
- Orange: Whitebeam, sea buckthorn
- Bright pink /orange: Spindle
- Brown: Service tree, wild pear
- Blue: Bullace, bilberries, blueberries
- Bubbley berries: Wild raspberry, dewberry, stone berry
- Ground dwelling berries: Cuckoo’s pint, wild strawberries
Which wild berries are edible?
Please remember, never attempt to eat or taste any wild berry unless you are absolutely certain of its identity and know it is safe to eat. Many of our most tasty-looking berries are poisonous. With that said, here are a few of our most common edible wild fruits: bilberries, blueberries, bramble (wild blackberries), elderberries, hawthorn, raspberries, rosehips, rowan, damson, wild raspberries, wild strawberries and sloe (blackthorn).
Please note, that even though these are edible, some of them need to be cooked before they are eaten. (Much like potatoes… they are edible too, but only once cooked!)
Which berries are poisnous?
Once again, remember, never eat or taste any berry, unless you are absolutely sure of its identity and the fact that it is safe to eat. Some of our most common poisonous berries, are: bittersweet (woody nightshade), black bryony, deadly nightshade, holly, honeysuckle, ivy, lords and ladies (cuckoo pint), spindle and yew (seeds).
Where else do wild berries grow?
Anywhere shrubs and trees and plants grow, you can find wild fruits growing: Along cliffs and coast lines; high up on the slopes of moors and mountains; down amongst the bogs and swamps; beside lakes and riverbanks; in fields and meadows; scattered amongst our forests and hedgerows; and hidden in wastelands and thickets.
Well, there we go! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have a better idea now, about some of our most common wild hedgerow berries. To be notified about new nature walk tutorials, you can join the Nook below x