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    • dbs
    • By dbs 9th Apr 06, 10:54 AM
    • 465Posts
    • 104Thanks
    Is it illegal to pick elderflowers?
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 06, 10:54 AM
    Is it illegal to pick elderflowers? 9th Apr 06 at 10:54 AM
    Thinking of making my own elderflower cordial is it illegal to pick the flowers off the trees?

    There are plenty in the countryside and if I did this I would only pick two flowers from one tree at a time.
Page 1
  • dniester007
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 06, 12:05 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 06, 12:05 PM
    I'm not sure it's illegal. I pick lots of the berries in late summer. There are always loads of elderflower berries in the countryside in late summer, and no one seems interested!

    By the way, elderflowerflowers tea, with a bit of the leaf, is a good cure for allergies!
  • Tashja
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:07 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:07 PM
    If anybody has the recipie for Elderflower Cordial please can they post it here


    T xx
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  • jenniferpa
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:13 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:13 PM
    Here's a link for elderflower cordial

    I remember making elderflower champagne once. That's quite pleasant, and suprisingly bubbly.


    P.S. Make sure you pick the flowers away from an area that might have been sprayed with pesticide, and wash well.
  • mgardner
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:13 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:13 PM

    I have never heard that it is illegal. Years ago we used to just go and help ourselves to these, as I still do with blackberries.

    I really wouldn't worry about this, Good luck. Sorry I don't have a receipe for cordial only wine.
    • redux
    • By redux 9th Apr 06, 1:21 PM
    • 19,366 Posts
    • 26,595 Thanks
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:21 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:21 PM
    borrowed from my Mum

    pro rata, usually more than this made in one of those plastic bin things with a tap at the bottom

    Pick them around midday/early afternoon on a sunny day

    100 flower heads - remove green stalks
    100 g citric acid
    4 litres of granulated sugar (brown is ok, but then it looks odd colour)
    4 lemons
    3 litres of water

    Rinse flowers or pick clean

    Boil water, stir in acid, sugar, lemon rind and juice

    Pour hot over flower heads, cover with cling film and leave for 5 days. Strain

    This is concentrated; then dilute about 5 to 8 times to taste
    Last edited by redux; 09-04-2006 at 1:25 PM.
  • del_boy_
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:22 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:22 PM
    my nan picks them and she has never been caught best to do it when no ones looking
  • Edinburghlass
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:24 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:24 PM
    Website regarding protected plants.

    Last edited by Edinburghlass; 09-04-2006 at 2:20 PM.
    • beer2006
    • By beer2006 9th Apr 06, 1:31 PM
    • 1,973 Posts
    • 2,075 Thanks
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:31 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 06, 1:31 PM
    Of course its not illegal to pick the flowers off the trees.

    Try not to pick them, as someone said where they might have been sprayed, or off the side of a busy road.

    Only pick them at the right time, when they are fully open and the smell is almost overpowering, don't pick then if they look like they have gone over.

    And don't wash them
    Last edited by beer2006; 09-04-2006 at 1:34 PM.
    “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 9th Apr 06, 1:31 PM
    • 3,036 Posts
    • 1,365 Thanks
    Taking whole plants can be illegal, but not necessarily just flowers or fruit/seeds, unless it's on private property. It all depends on the circumstances.

    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 9th Apr 06, 1:34 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    I pick elderflowers and elderberries every year and it's never occured to me that it might be illegal.Blackberrying surely is the same thing and that can't be illegal.

    There are many cookbooks around these days that recommend picking elderflowers.Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall,Jimmy Doherty spring to mind.The classic book on collecting wild food is Food For Free by Richard Mabey.
    Last edited by thriftlady; 09-04-2006 at 1:37 PM.
  • Ted_Hutchinson
    I use Sophie Grigson's recipe
    You may need to start asking around about where to buy Citric Acid. Some people don't sell it as it can be used by druggies. The best places are shops where they sell home brew supplies. But it's worth knowing you need to get the citric acid BEFORE you pick the flowers.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 9th Apr 06, 4:35 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    I've bought citric acid from the pharmacy in Tesco without any problems
    • twink
    • By twink 9th Apr 06, 4:57 PM
    • 3,806 Posts
    • 26,264 Thanks
    i fancy doing the elderberry cordial, but assume i have to sterilize the bottles? whats the easiest way to do that
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 9th Apr 06, 5:38 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    When I make jam,I sterilise the jars by washing them in hot soapy water,rinsing and putting in the oven at 100c for about half an hour.I've never had any problems with my jams and chutneys going off
    • dbs
    • By dbs 9th Apr 06, 7:54 PM
    • 465 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    I use campden tablets one tablet per bottle so the cordial can be preserved also I use beer bottles with a fliptop hinged opening which I have saved over the years.
    • Coveredinbees!!!!
    • By Coveredinbees!!!! 10th Apr 06, 8:12 AM
    • 3,178 Posts
    • 1,961 Thanks
    Elder is just a gigantic weed, I had a huge elder bush growing in my garden when we moved in and had a devil of a job killing the thing. There is bit of it everwhere in my hedges it's horrocious.I'll send you all the flowers if you want them.

  • doddsy
    Coveredinbees!!!! - love your sig

    My friend makes gorgeious elderflower cordial, puts it in plastic drinks bottles and freezes it. Lovely and refreshing on a hot day.
    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 10th Apr 06, 8:30 AM
    • 9,158 Posts
    • 16,996 Thanks
    Try not to pick them, as someone said where they might have been sprayed,
    by beer2006
    I would love to know how you going to know that. I am farmers daugther and I would not be able to tell you if they have been sprayed. Unless I stood and watched the field everyday for weeks. Or if had just been sprayed and you could still smell it or have just seen the tractor come out of the field.

    If you want to pick things like elderflowers etc befriend a local farmer they will tell you the best spots and give you permission. So if you are stopped by anyone you can then you have farmer browns permission to be there.

    Also DON'T wander off the foot paths. The foot paths are the public right of way. But no other bit of the field is so that does not mean you can just wandering where ever you like. If you can't find where the footpath goes then walk around the very edge of the field and not through the middle be it crops or animals.

    One way to get up farmers noses is to just wander all over there land leaving gates open and dogs mess everywhere and letting dogs off leads. (Note: I am not suggesting that is what you will do but there are plently that do). And parking in gateways as well. Just because there are no tractors in the field when you arrive does not mean that they will not want access 10 mins after you go off for a 2 hour walk.

    A farmers field is a work area just like a factory. And you would not be allowed to just wander around a factory because you felt like.

    Now before someone thinks I am grumpy farmers daughter I am not. Farmers are happy to allow you access to the footpaths across their land. As long as adhere to the the country code rules and think about what you are doing.

    Hope you get the elderflowers you want and make some yummy wine.


    • Debt_Free_Chick
    • By Debt_Free_Chick 10th Apr 06, 8:36 AM
    • 13,149 Posts
    • 9,492 Thanks
    Strictly speaking, the flowers belong to the landowner (i.e. owner of the land on which the tree is growing). Also, you need to consider how you can legitimately get to the trees ... if on a public footpath, then access is OK. If not, you will be tresspassing unless you have permission to access the land.

    Leaving aside access, I've not come across a landowner who got upset at people picking stuff from the hedgerows, but unless you are sure who you're dealing with, it's always best to ask - just to avoid a potential ear-bashing
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