The autumn hedgerow-harvests seem to get earlier every year. What once was a task for mid-October now sits comfortably in September. We collect scrambling rosehips to turn into syrup from the streamside hedge, sloes for gin are gathered from the paddock blackthorn, and cobnuts from the copse are squirrelled away for cracking at Christmas. Most prolific though, are the wild blackberries. We pick them by the bowlful for infusing in vinegar, baking in crumbles and scattering into cakes.