Photos of the month: July

Martha Boalch, 08/08/2018

This month we received 699 records, 87 with a photo, from 285 recorders. This is more than last month when we had 270 records from 142 people. This can be explained by the masses of fruit ripening in the warm sunshine, we’ve received lots of first ripe blackberry records as well as first ripe sloes and elderberries. Check out the photos and find out more about summer fruits.


It’s been wonderful to see your enthusiasm for first ripe blackberry recording. You can check out the progress of ripe blackberries spreading up through the UK on our map.


Ripe blackberries, Emma Howells


First ripe blackberry, Susan Lovatt


Delicious blackberries, Jane Cleave

Beautiful colours, Linda Sammonds

The photos certainly looked mouth-wateringly tasty. Check out our recipe ideas for how to use your crop. Leave some for wildlife as well.

Blackberries, Patricia Turner


First ripe blackberry, Judith Garforth

Radek Garbowski

Stuart Phethean


Beech fruits are ripening too. They’re not as colourful as blackberries but have a great texture to the husk around the edible nut. Did you know that beech nuts used to be used as food for pigs?

Beech (amount of fruit), Judith Garforth

Beech nuts, Peter Gordon Smith


You can’t miss these big bunches of tiny berries. Beautiful dark purple elder berries are rich in vitamin C, they are often used to make preserves and wine. They can even be used to make natural dyes.

Test fruit for ripeness with the 'squish' test, Robert Covell

Small mammals will feed on the berries, Andrea Drewitt

The fruit is also important for birds, Marcia Blackman

Alan Moody


Lots of you have spotted the pillar box red berries of rowan appearing. They are a popular food source with birds, especially blackbird, mistle thrush, redstart, redwing, song thrush, fieldfare and waxwing.


Rowan berries, Mary Kerby


Rowan berries, Peter Gordon Smith

Look out for the first autumn tint, Amy Harroe


Blackthorn first ripe fruit, otherwise known as sloes, are proving to be popular among recorders. Some of you may have been eyeing them up for making your own sloe gin (recipe here).

First ripe blackthorn, Judith Garforth

Sloes, Susan Herlihy


Sloes, Essex Havard


Watch out for the thorns if you go foraging, Mary Kerby


Hazel nuts and oak acorns will be ripening soon. As well as first ripe fruit you can also record the amount of fruit for all the fruit trees.

hazel  nuts

Hazel nuts (amount of fruit record), Judith Garforth

Oak (pedunculate, amount of fruit), Tracey Welham

What to look out for now

As the warm dry weather is set to continue, albeit interspersed with changeable thundery conditions, there may some unusual wildlife timings ahead.   

Tell us when you see the first ivy flowers in your area or the first leaf tint of rowan, silver birch and beech. We use your data to study the impacts of climate change.

ivy first flower

Ivy first flower, Ben Lee

beech first tint

Beech first tint, WTML

Join thousands of other people and let us know what's happening to wildlife near you.

Join thousands of other people and let us know what's happening to wildlife near you.

Have you seen your first butterfly or swallow of the spring? Is it a good year for wild autumn fruits? Take part in Nature's Calendar and help scientists to monitor the effects of climate change on wildlife.

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