Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa
The fruits are way too sour to eat raw. Best picked after a frost or prick them and soak them in gin to make a sloe gin. You can use them in sauces with apples, wines and jellies.
When and where to find it:
Best harvested between September and November. Usually found in banks, hedgerows, scrub and woodland edges. Wear thick gloves to protect your hands from the extremely sharp thorns. You have been warned.
It’s a shrub than can grow up to 4m. It forms dense thickets. It has lateral thorny shoots. The white flowers usually appear before the leaves in early Spring. The fruits and round and are blue-black in colour.
Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.