Taking ex-stream measures

Autumn wouldn’t be autumn without a spot of blackberry picking.

And how lucky am I to have a hedgerow full of them bordering my garden? Although I do admit I’m missing the added adventure of driving up a lane somewhere, randomly dumping the car, and doing a bit of guerilla foraging.  I do, however, get a bit of Girl Guide excitement by being able to utilise a ladder to navigate the stream.

Now, whether at home or further afield, it’s essential to ‘Be Prepared’ before ‘taking on’ a wild hedgerow. Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  Stout, long boots, so you can step down on any attacking thorny brambles or stinging nettles (waterproof ones if it’s potentially wet or muddy);
  • a wire coat hanger or, even better, a rake, to pull those elusive laden brambles towards you;
  •  a big deep bowl or plastic container, preferably with a lid and a handle, for collecting (not plastic bags as they’ll get squashed);
  • a pair of thin gloves, and/or a tube of Aloe gel or similar, for those inevitable punctures, scratches and stings.
  • oh! And not forgetting the essential ‘sunnies’… You can pretend they’re to keep the sun out of your eyes but they’re really to hide the embarrassment of being parked in a lay-by on the A303 wearing a pair of rubber gloves.

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