Appeal launched for Cambs elderflower pickers as cold spring shortens season

Belvoir Fruit Farms has launched an urgent appeal for elderflower pickers.

Belvoir Fruit Farms has launched an urgent appeal for elderflower pickers. - Credit: Archant

PICKERS are desperately needed to go out into the Cambridgeshire countryside and help bring in the elderflower harvest.

Unseasonably cold weather has delayed the start of the season, reducing it from six weeks to just four, so the frothy white blossoms need picking even more quickly than usual.

Keith Challen, farm manager for Belvoir Fruit Farms, which launched the appeal, said: “Because of the cold, wet spring the elders are about a month behind their expected development.

“This means the six-week harvest will start later than usual, probably in mid-June and will only last for a short four-week period giving us less time to bring in the blossoms.”

Pev Manners, managing director of Belvoir, said: “Helping with the elderflower harvest is a wonderful opportunity to take part in an historic tradition. People return to the farm year after year to meet new friends, see old ones and enjoy being in touch with nature.

“This year we really do need as many people as possible to help pick. Although they are welcome to help harvest our 70 acres of organic elderflowers, the elder itself occurs naturally in hedgerows all over the area and it is the blossoms from these plants that we are particularly keen to gather in.”

Belvoir offers pickers £2 cash per kilo and an experienced picker can harvest up to 45 kilos of elderflowers a day. Belvoir can only accept flowers at their freshest best and so the blossoms have to have been picked that day and should not have any stalks.

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Collections are held at Sacrewell Farm Centre, off the A47 near Peterborough, from 3.30–5pm.

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