Foraging for rosehips and crab apples helps care homes

EAST Lothian residents are being asked to forage for rosehips and crab apples to help residents in care homes.

Tom Chisholm and Rupert Waites, who founded drinks company Buck & Birch, have launched a foraging campaign called “Restoring Vital Connections”.

They want people to bring them rosehips and crab apples, which they will make into syrup and donate to care homes across the Lothians.

Chisholm and Waites said rosehip syrup is rich in vitamin C and have produced a fact sheet to help foragers.

Everyone who delivers donations to their distillery at Macmerry in East Lothian will receive a £5 Buck & Birch gift voucher, rosehip syrup for kids and limited edition enamel “Wilderness Adventurer” badges.

Waites said: “As well as connecting people to their environment in a positive way, it also helps to connect folk of all age groups together and finally helps older people to reconnect to the taste of their youth and get the benefit of the huge nutritional value of these undervalued native fruits.

“It’s a small thing but important. Rosehips are a perfect place to start being easy to identify and really abundant.

“We also want to pay it forward and close the loop by donating any excess syrup to local care homes, so that they too, can reconnect residents with a taste of their youth and give them the benefits of the huge amount of vitamin C.”

Anne Paxton, 70, who has foraged in East Lothian since her childhood, said: “Some of my earliest memories are of my granny when she went foraging.

“She had a big family and we all used to go. We’d walk along the Tyne on a Sunday from East Linton to Hailes, collecting as we went.

“When I was a kid we also used to go bramble picking all of the time and my mum used to make elderberry and bramble wine.

“We would get extra pocket money at school from the headmaster for collecting rosehips and the amount that we collected was put in a ledger.

“I still love foraging – it’s a great way to get out and about.”

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