The best time for blackberries
PUBLISHED: 12:40 26 August 2014
August and September is the time for picking delicious blackberriesthe RSPB tells us why
It is the season for blackberry picking and what a wonderful time of year it is too. During August and September blackberries will be abundant on bramble bushes everywhere, providing a tasty wild treat for anyone who happens to brave the prickles to pick them. At this time of year we eat them in all sorts of ways, from straight off the plant to in delicious summer puddings, while towards the end of the season they taste simply scrumptious wrapped up in a blackberry and apple crumble or pie. But however we choose to enjoy them, we won’t be the only ones that do.
Blackberries are an important food source for lots of wildlife. The leaves and flowers are favoured by a whole host of butterflies and their caterpillars including the comma, the meadow brown and the pretty little holly blue. Many of our mammals will also enjoy the blackberry season with deer enjoying the juicy fruits as well as foxes and badgers. If you are ever out with the kids and fancy having a go at some animal tracking, look out for dark purple badger and fox faeces that will have been stained by blackberries as they gorge themselves gobbling up all the goodness that these little berries contain. Birds mess can also take on a purple tinge at this time of year for the very same reason. In fact this purple poop is the perfect way for these plants to spread their seeds ensuring that bramble plants are always plentiful.
Essex is laden with blackberries with some top spots for picking. In fact, both the RSPB’s West Canvey Marsh and Bowers Marsh have some great blackberry hedges if you fancy a stroll and some free fruit. Why not pop out with the kids as the summer comes to a close, fill a punnet with nature’s bounty and, if you manage to get home without eating them all, bake a lovely family treat? Perfect!