WHO used to go and pick bilberries (or still does) when they ripened on the heath and moorland each July?

I used to go with my grandparents to pick them and it was a struggle not to eat the tiny and delicious berries straight from the plants instead of putting them into containers to bring home.

You can buy commercially grown blueberries in the shops, but they are a different flavour and wild bilberries are far superior.

An old aunt of mine used to say 'bring enough for a saucer pie'. You couldn't hide the telltale stained lips and tongue from eating a few of them!

There will be enough here to make a good sized pie. For me it has to be a pie, not crumble, and custard rather than cream. 

And who still goes out picking raspberries, blackberries, crab apples, hazelnuts, sloes, wild plums and the like? It's free food as long as you are on common land or have permission to gather them. Some people even pick rosehips and make a Vitamin C-rich syrup. We used to go out picking hips when I was at primary school and they got sent off somewhere to make rosehip syrup for children.

Most of the hedgerow fruit is not ready yet, but the bilberries are ripe so get out now onto the moors and pick some before the birds get them all. It is a fiddly job (wear dark clothing because they stain) but so worth it.