It’s blackberry season! Here are our favourite spots to pick them in Halifax, Calderdale and beyond – and some yummy recipes too!
My kids’ fingers and mouths have been permanently purple over the last few weeks.
They’ve had so much fun finding – and eating – juicy berries on their morning walks, popping some in a tub to take home and dipping them into bowls of sugar and squirty cream.
Between now and early October, the blackberries on the hedgerows are ripe and yours for the taking.
So we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite local spots to find them, and a few ideas of what to do with them.
Cromwell Bottom: We filled bags full of juicy blackberries here last week (I don’t recommend bags though, the berries got bashed about and they leaked!) and the little ones left with their whole bodies streaked purple. It’s a fantastic walk as well, stroller-friendly with so much wildlife and nature to enjoy and observe. Take a picnic and enjoy it in the meadow!
Southowram: One of our regular walks is Beacon Hill, and when you start to descend, you’ll find lots of blackberry bushes starting to plump up with fruit. It’s a popular route for dog walking though, so avoid the lower offerings and pick from higher up.
Norland Moor: I haven’t done this walk myself, but it looked beautiful on FB group Walking With Kids. There’s a car park behind Norland playground, then you can follow a circular walk (not wheel-friendly and do stay on track) to find bilberries and blackberries.
Ogden Water: We found plenty on the brambles both in the woodland and around the reservoir. It’s a gorgeous walk too!
Canal Walks: Canals can be a great place to find blackberries (as well as a beautiful walk). The stretch between Copley and Sowerby Bridge is particularly good!
National Coal Mining Museum: Not in Calderdale, but we thought this was a great option. As well as all the fun of the museum and adventure playground,there is a nature trail (pram friendly) where you can fill your boxes with juicy blackberries. A great one if you’re looking for a day out as well as a chance to blackberry!
Other places not too far away include: Dingley Reservoir, Scammonden Reservoir and Castle Hill.
Where is your favourite place to pick blackberries? Let us know in the Calderdale Mumbler Chat Group!
My kids aren’t fans of the classic blackberry pies and crumbles, and their favourite way to eat them is straight from the hedges. But I love trying new ways of using them, and here are a few ideas. BBC Good Food has LOADS of ideas here, too.
Blackberry Surprise Buns (makes 12)
Weigh two eggs then measure the same amount of butter (or margarine), self raising flour and sugar. Add one teaspoon of baking powder, vanilla extract and one tablespoon of milk or water. Beat with an electric mixer for at least two minutes then divide into bun cases and push a blackberry or two inside each. Bake for around 15 minutes (although this is really oven dependent so keep a close eye!) at 180C/350F/Gas 4, until a cocktail stick comes out clean and the tops spring back.
Meanwhile, strain a handful of blackberries through a sieve and mix the juice with icing sugar. Spread over the cooled buns and add sprinkles!
Who doesn’t love cheesecake? We use this BBC Good Food recipe a lot! It’s so simple the kids can practically do it themselves. Blackberries, Strawberries or Raspberries as a topping – totally depends what PYO we have been doing!
For the cheesecake
250g digestive biscuits – or hobnobs if we are doing it with strawberries!
100g butter, melted
1 vanilla pod
600g full-fat soft cheese
100g icing sugar
284ml pot of double cream
For the topping
400g punnet of Blackberries (or whatever fruit you have picked!), halved