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Cornish Hedgerow Harvest: Unearthing the Bounty of Nature's Pantry

June 13, 2023



James is a true embodiment of the words 'one with nature.'

Discover the diverse and plentiful array of edible goodies that Cornwall's hedgerows have to offer. This post covers the traditional art of hedgerow foraging, how to identify key species, and how to turn your findings into mouth-watering recipes.


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Exploring Cornish Hedgerows

Britain's countryside, particularly Cornwall, is renowned for its beautiful hedgerows, marking field boundaries and providing shelter for a wealth of wildlife. But did you know that these seemingly ordinary hedgerows are hiding a treasure trove of edible delights? From the sweet succulence of blackberries to the tart tang of sloes, Cornwall's hedgerows offer an array of wild food that's waiting to be explored.

Unearthing the bounty of nature's pantry, this blog post introduces you to the ancient practice of hedgerow foraging and guides you on a journey of discovery and culinary delight.

Hedgerow History

For centuries, hedgerow foraging has been a staple of rural life in Britain. As our ancestors understood, these natural barriers are not just markers of territory but verdant veins of sustenance and medicine. Hedgerows in Cornwall are especially bountiful due to the region's mild and wet climate, which fosters a great diversity of plant life.

Identifying the Bounty

Foraging should always be done with the utmost care and respect for nature, and it's essential to correctly identify any plant before you consume it. Some common edible plants found in Cornish hedgerows include blackberries, elderberries, sloes (from the blackthorn bush), wild garlic, nettles, and hawthorn berries. Each of these plants has its own unique taste and can be used in a variety of ways in your kitchen.

Sustainable Foraging

Always remember the forager's code: take only what you need, leave plenty for wildlife, and never uproot a plant. It's also essential to only forage from places where plants are abundant and free from pollutants.

Cooking with Your Harvest

Once you've gathered your hedgerow bounty, the real fun begins. Try making blackberry jam, elderberry wine, sloe gin, wild garlic pesto, nettle soup, or hawthorn berry jelly. Each offers a taste of the Cornish countryside and is a great way to celebrate local, seasonal food.
Foraging for food in Cornwall's hedgerows is a delightful and rewarding way to connect with nature, celebrate the seasons, and enjoy truly local produce. As you explore Cornwall's lanes and footpaths, remember that a feast awaits in the hedgerows - you just need to know where to look.