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Foraging in January: winter fruits and nuts

Yes it's winter. That time between autumn, when fruits and berries are in abundance, and before spring, when the new shoots haven't started coming yet. But even so, there are some winter fruits and nuts to look out for. Pick up your field guide (or download our tree ID app) and head out. 

 Please follow our sustainable foraging guidelines.

Acorns

Did you know you can eat ripe acorns? We'll show you how to prepare and eat them.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Beech nuts

The nuts make a tasty raw nibble when you’re out and about. Scrape off the outer brown skin to reveal the triangular seed.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Blackberries

Probably the most widely foraged wild fruit. You might be lucky to still find a few in the hedgerows in winter. Gather them for pies, crumbles and liqueur or get some recipe inspiration.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

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Chestnuts

A classic wintry roasted treat. Look out for their spiny casings on the woodland floor. Sweet chestnut isn't native, but has been here since the Romans introduced it.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Crab apples

You can make some amazing recipes with these small, sour fruits. Their flavour is excellent: intensely tart and tangy.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Hawthorn berries

They're not great raw: the flesh is dry and starchy and the stone is quite large. But they're great in jams, jellies, vinegar, ketchup and hedgerow liqueurs.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Hazelnuts

You might be able to find some hazelnuts to nibble on if the squirrels haven't got there first. See our top tips on when to pick hazelnuts.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Pine nuts

Open pine cones can be shaken to dislodge the pine nuts from inside. Pine cones that are closed can be placed near a fire for a few days. They can be eaten raw but are usually roasted or toasted.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Rosehips

They are good in wines, jellies, jams and can be used to make a delicately flavoured rosehip syrup for cordial or pouring onto ice cream or pancakes.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Rowan berries

Look out for ripening clusters of orange-red berries. They can be used to make rowan jelly (delicious with game), wine, hedgerow jelly, fruit leather and wild fruit vinegar.

(Photo: Ben Lee/WTML)
(Photo: Ben Lee/WTML)

Sloes

The blue-black berries of blackthorn are ready for picking from the end of September to December. Try making our delicious sloe gin recipe.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Whitebeam berries

These can be eaten in the same way as rowan, in jellies and jams. Learn how to identify the whitebeam tree.

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)
(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Bring woodland wildlife into your kitchen

Shop our tea towel twin packs