Blackberrying in Cambridge
I just love the beginning of Autumn. The weather is still warm, the light is gorgeous, the colours are vibrant and with this years’ heatwave the long awaited blackberries are bountiful. Out and about in Cambridge you can’t help but notice the abundance of beautiful blackberries weighing down the branches.
Blackberrying or brambling, whichever you prefer, is a great family outing. The promise of jam or pies keeps everyone motivated. One of my favourite fruits, my heart leaps with the thought of just how many I will manage to eat before the season ends. The only problem is eating more than you collect.
Our favourite sites to pick blackberries in Cambridge
- Wimpole – Harcamlow Way, South of Kingston
- The Roman Road – North of Little Abington
- The hedges enclosing the Coton Nature Reserve
- The dog walk track around the Magog Downs
- The hedgerows north of the Grantchester Road
- Coldhams Common
- Lode, Quy Mill beyond Anglesey Abbey towards Longmeadow
Remember, if you’re out foraging only take what you need, as nature will enjoy these autumn delights as much as you.
Blackberries … did you know?
- The blackberry has been foraged and enjoyed for a very long time, at least 8,000 years
- There are now as many as 2,000 varieties of Rubus fruticosus worldwide
- Blackberries and apples are best friends forever and are frequently combined with early apples for a taste which is the embodiment of the changing seasons.
- Blackberries are perfect for jelly, jam, compote, tart, pie, iced desserts, syrup, liqueur and ratafia.
- They are a good source of vitamin C, and also dietary fibre in the multitudinous tiny seeds.
Other delicious delights from foraging
At most of these sites look out for sloe berries wonderful for sloe gin or vodka, elder berries for cordial and rosehips for jelly or syrup.
These recipes work well:
Rosehip and crab apple jelly from BBC Good Food
Dawn Giesler, is the founder of Scuseme Cambridge, a recommendation website that helps your family run smoothly. She has lived in Cambridge for over 20 years and offers advise based on her own experiences. For more information please visit: scuseme