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Hedgerow jelly recipe a hit with Scottish schools

Here is a tasty jelly recipe for all you food foragers. As well as being perfect on toast, it's at the heart of a clever project to teach children about nature. Pam Rodway is the creator of this magnificent recipe – packing in sloes, rowan berries, rosehips, haws, brambles, elderberries and crab apples.  The ultimate fruity foraging treat!

She has been making this jelly for more than 40 years, planting the hedge required to provide ingredients everywhere her family moved. She has also introduced many children to the biodiversity of the hedgerows over the years.

Pam is no stranger to delicious and wholesome food. Her promotion of sustainable food production and food education in Scotland has earned her an MBE. 

Pam with her husband Nick and children from Rogart Primary school in Sutherland at the Scottish Parliament event earlier this year (Photo: Arina Nagy-Vizitiu/WTML)
Pam with her husband Nick and children from Rogart Primary school in Sutherland at the Scottish Parliament event earlier this year (Photo: Arina Nagy-Vizitiu/WTML)

Why not grow your own ingredients?

As part of the Scotland’s Natural Larder project, Woodland Trust Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Scottish Crofting Federation got together to spread Pam’s wonderful idea even further. The project was honoured at the Scottish Parliament earlier in the year.

We have developed teaching resources with Pam’s help, and offered free planting packs to schools in the Scottish crofting counties, with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

From Dunoon up to Golspie and across to the Isle of Skye, 29 schools signed up this year. They received:

  • a planting pack to create 8m of hedge
  • a teaching resource pack
  • posters and
  • the all-important recipe.

All the tree and shrub species in the recipe are included except brambles. We reckon everyone can find those somewhere close. There is an option to add willow to the mix, so children can make baskets to carry the fruit. How cool is that?

Rowan berries are one of the many ingredients for the hedgerow jelly (Photo: Alamy)
Rowan berries are one of the many ingredients for the hedgerow jelly (Photo: Alamy)

Once established, the hedges will serve as a brilliant resource for the schools for years to come. We hope many generations of youngsters will make Pam’s jelly – something to enjoy before class!

Now you can too!

Hedgerow jelly recipe

Ingredients

  • 250g each of rowan, sloes, rosehips and haws
  • 500g each of brambles, elderberries and crab apples
  • Sugar – 1 kg per litre of juice

 

Method

  1. Sort, wash and weigh each of the fruits
  2. Roughly chop the crab apples, leaving in pips and skin
  3. Put the fruits into a large preserving pan, with enough water to almost cover
  4. Cook over a low heat till fruit is soft, stirring gently
  5. When fruit is cooked, place it in a jelly bag and hang to extract the deep red juice
  6. Now measure the juice and add 1kg of sugar per litre of juice
  7. Boil rapidly for a few minutes till set
  8. Pot into sterilised jars, label and enjoy with scones or bannocks.
Cooking up a delicious jelly from a homegrown hedge (Photo: hedgerow jelly project resources)
Cooking up a delicious jelly from a homegrown hedge (Photo: hedgerow jelly project resources)

Free trees for schools and communities

These hedgerow jelly packs are tailored especially for the Scottish crofting counties. Contact eleanorgarty@woodlandtrust.org.uk if you are interested in receiving one.

We give a variety of alternative packs to schools and community groups across Britain. We want everyone to have the chance to plant a tree.

We give away hundreds of thousands of trees every year

Apply for a tree pack for your school or community