Fruit in the Hedgerows

Wild Damsons September Sussex
Wild Damsons

It’s the beginning of ‘free fruit season’!

A pick-your-own bonanza straight from the hedgerow…

But what’s safe to eat, and what’s not? Here’s a quick guide to what’s growing near us in Bepton. Please DON’T use these photos as a definitive guide! If you’re not sure what you’re picking, don’t eat it!

Wild Rosehips

There are many varieties of rose growing wild in the hedgerows, and for many years they were made into a sticky syrup (Delrosa) that was given to children to fend off colds! Rosehips are a source of vitamin C – they’re a bit on the sharp side though.


There are lots of varieties of Hawthorn too – and they’re popular with birds in autumn. The fruits have a large stone inside and some people use hawthorn berries to make preserves and homemade wine (sound pretty rotten to me!). Hawthorn berries should be avoided by anyone with heart or blood complaints.


It’s poisonous! Bittersweet is a rambling plant from the hedgerows with a pretty purple flower and a bright red berry. Best avoided…


Like small plums, damsons are sour but great for jams, pies and flavouring your favourite tipple! Vodka and Gin are (I am told) are excellent bedfellows for damsons.


A common berry but beware – some people react badly to elderberries. They are filled with vitamin C and good for homemade wine, preserves and cordials.


There are plenty of varieties of apples in the hedgerows from crabs to eaters and cookers. Edible! And hard to confuse with anything else!


Everyone’s favourite and this year they’re as good as ever!

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