Here’s 5 top autumnal treats that can be found in Sussex hedgerows

Rose hips
Rose hips

Record numbers of people are growing their own veg or even trying their hand at foraging.

There is safe free food to be found but foragers need to beware of poisonous berries, wild mushrooms and other hazards.

Sloe gin

Sloe gin

Experts from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have identified five autumnal seasonal treats.

A spokesman said: “Foraging for food is legal in the UK for individual consumption or to enjoy with family and friends, but is not allowed for commercial purposes.

“It must also be done only on personal land, private land with the appropriate permissions or common land – this could include woods, forests, parks, fields and hedgerows, roadsides, cycle paths, canals, disused railway embankments and even cemeteries.

“It is important to only take what food will be used before it perishes and remember to leave plenty for animals.”

He added: “Much wild produce is packed full of goodness, but don’t risk picking mushrooms while out and about unless sufficiently well-read on the varieties that are safe for humans.”

Here’s the list:

1. Rose Hips

A handful of the seed pods of roses contain the recommended daily intake of a vitamin C. They are also high in fibre and vitamin A.

Cooked in boiling water and sieved thoroughly, Rose Hips can be turned into a cordial, syrup, jam or jelly with sugar.

2. Chestnuts

Rustic chestnuts go with sausages or stuffing in pasta or roast dinners and can be puréed as an alternative to mashed potato. Sweet cooked chestnuts can be used instead of flour in desserts, if blitzed into a fine crumb, and go well with chocolate.

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3. Chickweed

A prolific species of weed that calls many British gardens and hedgerows home, the chickweed is a hardy green that survives into the winter.

It got its name because it is a popular food among chickens and chickweed will make a pesto or can be added to salads.

4. Sloes

The stand-out recipe for ripe purple sloes is flavoured gin. Mix frozen sloes with a bottle of gin and sugar.

Store in a tightly sealed jar in a cool, dark place and shake every couple of days. It is ready for drinking when dark red and strained. Sloe gin will be better the longer it is left for.

5. Brambles

The best brambles, or blackberries, are found further away from polluted areas such as main roads and heavily fertilised agriculture.

They can be used in pies or crumbles.