Recipes & More

Blackberry Picking Season UK: A Step-by-Step Guide

11th September, 2023

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We're diving right into that special time when summer gives way to autumn, and you know what that means – it's blackberry-picking season! At Clandeboye Yoghurt, we love nothing more than creating wholesome and delicious treats, and what better way to do so than adding freshly picked blackberries into our yoghurt?

We have created the perfect step-by-step guide to take you through the process of blackberry picking, sharing tips of how you can enjoy these juicy gems with our creamy Clandeboye Yoghurt.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Time

When are Blackberries in the UK in Season?

  • Blackberries start to appear in July and August around the summer holidays. However, depending on weather and location, early September through to early October can also be good picking months. It’s more common to find ripe blackberries towards the end of August into the start of September.

  • Aim for a sunny day when the berries are fully ripe and easy to pluck.

Step 2: Locating the Best Place

  • Blackberries are typically grown on brambles which can be found in most woodlands, meadows and along fences or trails.

  • Seek bushes with plump, dark berries that are easily detachable from the stem.

  • Finding the best patch is a case of trial and error. Some berries will naturally be sweeter and more flavoursome than others, but all will work well with our creamy Clandeboye Yoghurt.

  • Avoid busy roads where the blackberries could potentially be contaminated by pollutants from passing cars.

  • When picking wild blackberries, it’s best to avoid the berries that are low-down on the bush, where dogs might have peed etc.

  • Be cautious of bushes bordering fields of crops that could have been sprayed with insecticides and pesticides.

  • Only pick blackberries where it is safe to do so. Seek permission from landowners before picking berries on private property or nature reserves.

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Step 3: Essential Tools and Supplies

  • Wear the appropriate clothing to protect yourself against thorns and bugs.

  • To store blackberries, equip yourself with a suitable container. One of our fully recyclable Yoghurt pots will do the job here! Simply clean it out and bring it with you.

  • Bring gloves and wear sturdy footwear.

Step 4: Picking the Berries

  • Be careful of thorns and handle the berries carefully to avoid squishing them.

  • Gently grasp the ripe blackberry between your thumb and fingers.

  • Slightly twist and tug to detach from stem.

  • Inspect each berry before placing it into your container - shiny black ones are perfect.

  • Discard overripe, underripe or damaged berries.

  • Ensure berries are free of insects or debris.

  • According to Discover Wildlife, keep the wildlife in mind when picking your berries, leave some behind for them to enjoy. If an area is scarce, leave it alone and pick from as wide an area as possible, taking little amounts from here and there. Therefore, the impact on the surrounding wildlife will be negligible.

Step 5: Cleaning and Storing

Once you have collected all your blackberries and brought them home:

  • Wash well with cold water and soak in a little salt to kill off any bugs.

  • When storing the blackberries, try to keep them as dry as possible to ensure they last for two to three days. If refrigerating them, let them come to room temperature before eating - they will taste much juicer!

  • Blackberries also freeze well. Freeze and use in smoothies or even save them for a delicious winter dessert. (See our ideas below!)

Responsible Foraging Reminder

Blackberries are not only delightful treats for us but also for the wildlife around. When engaging in blackberry picking, please choose areas where they flourish abundantly.

It's important to ensure that we leave a portion for our feathered friends and other creatures that share our love for these berries.

Ways to Enjoy Blackberries and Clandeboye Yogurt

Clandeboye Natural Yoghurt or Greek-Style Yoghurt serves as the perfect base for adding freshly picked blackberries due to its creamy texture, neutral profile, nutritional benefits, and the way it complements the flavours and textures of the blackberries. Check out some of our favourite blackberry recipes and fun ways to blend this perfect pairing.

Divine Desserts

Check out our Whipped Clandeboye Greek Yoghurt & Blackberry Fool - A luscious and delightful dessert that brings together the velvety richness of our whipped Greek yoghurt from Clandeboye and the exquisite sweetness of fresh blackberries.

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Super Smoothies

Why not freeze your blackberries to have them on hand for everything from smoothies to baking? To make a super easy and refreshing smoothie simply blend your frozen blackberries with Clandeboye yoghurt and a liquid of your choice (such as milk or juice) for an invigorating hit.

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Scrumptious Snacks

Your specially picked wild blackberries would create a tasty and nutritious snack by layering on top of our creamy Clandeboye Yoghurt in a jar or container alongside granola.

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NI Top Blackberry Picking Spots

Here are some top picking spots recommended from the National Trust Northern Ireland.

Secret Shore Trail, Castle Ward, County Down: Explore this path tracing the Strangford Lough Shores, here you’ll find hedgerows brimming with delicious blackberries waiting to be picked.

The Giants Causeway, Country Antrim: One of NI’s most stunning viewpoints along the Northern Irish Coastline. The Giants Causeway has many plants and wildflowers, including blackberries. A picturesque place to pause and enjoy the scenery whilst doing your pickings.

Mount Stewart, Country Down: According to Visit Ards and North Down, some of the plumpest berries can be found along the woodland area of the red trail at Mount Stewart.

Minnowburn, Belfast: A woodland just outside Belfast that is a foragers dream. Find blackberries amongst the bushes ready to be transformed into delicious treats alongside our Clandeboye Yoghurt.

Florence Court, Fermanagh: Seek out the berries in the hedgerows along the Blue Trail at Florence Court through native Irish Woodland.

Clandeboye Forest, Helens Tower: Explore the stunning woodlands that surround the Clandeboye Estate whilst enjoying your berry picking adventures. You can read more about Clandeboye Estate and Helen’s Tower here.

Great Activity for the Family

Berry picking brings the whole family together to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature - escaping away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Want to encourage your little ones to experience less screen time and more green time? The Clandeboye Nature Rangers Club is an after school club that is open to all families in the surrounding area. Children spend their time exploring and investigating the woodlands and meadows of Clandeboye Estate.

The Clandeboye Nature Rangers is involved in the Learning Without Walls Program, which receives support from both Northern Ireland Forest School Association and The Dufferin Foundation. For more information follow on Facebook or email

Let’s celebrate the season together and share your berry-filled adventures with us on our Instagram @clandeboye_yoghurt or Facebook @clandeboyeyoghurt.