Getting back to nature is something that is rarely done in our busy urban lives, but it is something that can be truly rewarding and invigorating. At Wilko, we are delighted to support the Woodland Trust by donating your carrier bag charges to support their work. In the last 12 months, we have given nearly £200,000 to the charity, which means Wilko, and you, our customers, are supporting the charity to plant and nurture beautiful trees and woodland across the UK.

Autumn is a beautiful season of change and activity, where many animals are leaving for the winter and others are preparing for the cold weather to come. As trees transform from lush greens to stunning displays of red, gold and brown, it’s a spectacular season to get out and about into the great outdoors and explore our historic woodland.

woodland trust woodland scene

Bring it Home

If you’re looking for the perfect personalised gift this festive season, autumn is the ideal season to forage for the likes of blackthorn, elderflower and hazels and to bring home some fantastic, fresh produce. Here are some tasty recipes from the Woodland Trust to turn your foraged ingredients into delicious drinks that your family and friends are sure to love;

Sloe Gin

The key ingredient to sloe gin comes from the blackthorn tree. This is a hedge-like plant that in early spring blooms with creamy white flowers. In the autumn, their fruits are easy to identify with the blackthorn producing deep blue sloes that resemble small plums.

Recipe:
1 ltr bottle of gin
450g sloes
225g caster sugar
1 large sterilised jar

How to make:
Prick the sloes all over and place them in a jar that’s been sterilised
Add the sugar and fill to the top with gin. Seal the jar tightly and shake well
Store the jar in a cool, dark place and shake well every other day for a week
After a week, you only need to shake it once a week for two months
The liquid should now be dark red and ready for drinking.

Hawthorn Schnapps

Hawthorn is similar to the blackthorn plant in look, but come autumn, it produces easily identifiable bright red, small and shiny fruit that will create a classic soft and aromatic schnapps.

Recipe:
Handful of fresh, ripe hawthorn berries
Vodka
A large sterilised jar with tight-fitting lid

How to make:
Fill 2/3 of the jar with berries and fill to the top with vodka
Screw lid on tightly and shake. Store in a cool place for six weeks and shake jar every few days
Strain the mixture into a clean jar and store for another 8 weeks before serving.

Now all that’s left to do is bottle up your beautiful beverages and personalise with cute labels to give a gift that is sure to be cherished!

For more tips on how to become a true foraging fanatic, check out the Woodland Trust guidelines on foraging and this fun and informative foraging book available in the Woodland Trust Shop.

For more home brewing inspiration, shop our full range of home brewing accessories at wilko.com

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