SCOTS should get out into the countryside and pick wild berries after this year’s warm summer produced a bumper crop of fruit in the nation’s hedgerows and forests.
Scottish National Heritage is encouraging members of the public to harvest wild raspberries, brambles and other fruit to make into jams and jellies at home.
The group said that wild berries predominantly grow in Tayside, particularly in the fertile Strathmore valley, but are also available in Grampian, the Highlands, Arran, Ayrshire and the Borders.
In warm Scottish summers, heat combined with long daylight hours help most berries ripen, creating plenty of flavour.
Ashleigh Tooth of SNH said: “Collecting wild berries gets you out and about – and they’re free too, of course. We have some of the best outdoor access rights in the Europe in Scotland, so we should all take advantage and get out into the countryside. Just take care when you’re picking the berries that you don’t harm the plant.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said picking wild fruit was a chance to celebrate the natural produce on offer in Scotland - which is being celebrated by a “Year of Natural Scotland” partnership between agencies including SNH, the Scottish Government and VisitScotland.
“The Year of Natural Scotland is all about getting people out and about enjoying our stunning landscapes,” he said. We’ve been lucky enough to have a fantastic summer this year, and I’d urge everyone to enjoy the rest of the year, especially if there is a treat or two along the way.”
In Scotland, members of the public can pick wild berries for their own consumption, although not for commercial purposes or for profit.