Rightly or wrongly, we tend to value most what we use.

So I want to do a thread on something I think needs a whole lot more love;

the bramble,

by twisting its MANY extraordinary wildlife credentials into ways that suit us. Like the egocentric gal I am.
1)Bramble is fantastic long season forage for pollinators.

I'm a beekeeper so this benefits me directly. But it also benefits anyone that eats food pollinated by insects (ALL OF YOU!) as forage throughout the season keeps these populations fed when crops aren't in flower

🔊 on
And they are pretty generous with it! Their large, open, abundant flowers have almost no physical limitation for who can use them. So a HUGE variety of things do.

This picture represents a couple of minutes of me chasing insects around my allotment bramble patch.
2)"Thorn is the cradle of the oak" Bramble & thorny scrub is basically natures version of those awful plastic tree tubes- protecting young trees from being grazed off

Natural regen has some serious benefits incl protecting VITAL tree genetic diversity
👀🧵 https://twitter.com/FavColour_Green/status/1339569277481996288?s=20
3)Bramble grows pretty vigorously. It's a beast!

Lucky for us those little lime green young shoots u get this time of year make a DELICIOUS sparkling wine

This keeps your garden bramble patch expanding too far, &makes perfect bbq booze

Dont worry, you won't hurt it
because bramble is pretty robust. Dare I say pragmatically indestructible? (unless uprooted)

So benefit 4) a great garden plant for those that have a tendency to kill all them posh things you buy from the garden center?

Cut off what you want - it's merely a flesh wound!
5) it's pretty spiky stuff, which makes AMAZING shelter for nesting birds, small mammals etc

I spent a glorious 2 weeks watching long tailed tits build a nest in bramble patch. UK entertainment industry is worth £72billion so I feel like this could be a stone cold bargain for us
And its not just the bumbarrels that love the spiky protection of bramble patch nests:

All the feathery joy!
Moving on to 6) BERRIES
Yes, they may feed a huge array of wildlife, including the every cute dormice (&our lives wd be sad without dormice)

But hey, they can also feed US! Easy to identify, theyre a gateway berry that kids learn young. Great neat, or in crumble
but better yet..
would you believe they also make a delicious wine? And I do mean delicious.

Just look at this beauty go!

& the best thing, us lumbering humans can never get all the blackberries in a patch. Not even close. So there's always more for wildlife
You can also put these gorgeous berries (or aggregate-accessory fruit to you and me) into a bottle of rum, which makes my favourite cocktail yet.

Blackberry rum, (literally just blackberries plonked in a bottle of rum 50/50)
juice of half a lime
ginger ale
I mean, if this list of reasons to keep bramble isn't persuasive enough already, then i'm not sure what motivates you;
We have food, booze, entertainment, helping save the world &many of the sp in it

The only things left are money and sex, but alas bramble is poor on both fronts
So from here I'll just list some cool bramble facts:
- you can make baskets and rope from it
-the leaves are food for many moth species
-some solitary bees lay eggs in the hollow stems
-it has a cousin, Rubus cockburnianus (chuckle..)
-they have backward facing prickles so can climb
-prickles, not thorns
-they hurt! so can be used to reduce footfall where you don't want compaction eg around veteran trees
-they also feed the rare adult saproxylic beetles that live as larvae in a veteran trees' deadwood
-most berries are a result of apomixis (told you they were bad on the sex front!)
-you shouldn't eat blackberries after the first rain in october, (as the old wives say) this is the devil's piss, and that's disgusting.
I hope I have convinced you that brambles ar amazing not just for wildlife but for us selfish buggers too

Rightly or wrongly, we value what we use &we protect what we value

Perhaps the more uses we find will help us be more tolerant of bramble in gardens &green spaces we manage
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