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Woodland Trust

by Theo Beckett

Author- Theo Beckett

26th November to 4th December marks National Tree Week and we’re celebrating the UK’s countless forests with one of our four MV Giving charities, Woodland Trust.

If you thought your local woods were reserved for summer picnics, think again. With everything from chestnuts to berries, take advantage of the gorgeous forests across the UK, head out for a winter stroll and forage for some fresh produce.

Woodland Trust- Forest

Probably the most widely foraged wild fruit. You might be lucky to still find a few in the hedgerows in winter. Gather them for pies, crumbles and liqueur or get some recipe inspiration.

A classic wintry roasted treat. Look out for their spiny casings on the woodland floor. Sweet chestnut isn’t native, but has been here since the Roman’s introduced it.

You can make some amazing recipes with these small, sour fruits. Their flavour is excellent: intensely tart and tangy.


They’re not great raw: the flesh is dry and starchy and the stone is quite large. But they’re great in jams, jellies, vinegar, ketchup and hedgerow liqueurs.


You might be able to find some hazelnuts to nibble on if the squirrels haven’t got there first. See our top tips on when to pick hazelnuts.


Open pine cones can be shaken to dislodge the pine nuts from inside. Pine cones that are closed can be placed near a fire for a few days. They can be eaten raw but are usually roasted or toasted.


Look out for ripening clusters of orange-red berries. They can be used to make rowan jelly (delicious with game), wine, hedgerow jelly, fruit leather and wild fruit vinegar.


The blue-black berries of blackthorn are ready for picking from the end of September to December. Try making our delicious sloe gin recipe.


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