Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Hedgerow Jam and Jelly Competition

BlackberriesCalling all jam and jelly enthusiasts! Somerset Wildlife Trust is running a members-only competition as part of the Wells Food Festival in October to find the best jam or jelly-maker in the county. ‘Jam mistress’ Vivien Lloyd will announce the winner in the Town Hall on Sunday 12 October, with a little help from Trust President Stephen Moss, before all entries are enjoyed by up to 200 people at a traditional cream tea.

Crab apples, blackberries and damsons

In order to qualify, entrants must include fruits associated with hedgerows, such as crab apples, blackberries or damsons. Vivien, an inspirational tutor and author on the subject of traditional preserves, said: “Hedgerow jams and jellies are a celebration of our natural environment. Helpful hints and tips to make prize-winning preserves can be found on my website.” The maker of the winning jam or jelly will receive a jam-making masterclass with Vivien.

Celebrating Somerset’s countryside and local produce

Wells Food Festival aims to celebrate Somerset’s countryside and local produce, and last year attracted over 3500 people with lunches, talks, markets and a vintage tea party ­ as well as the opportunity to taste a variety of local food and drink. 2014 looks set to be even better, and as the Wells Festival of Literature is also taking place (October 10 to 18), there’s going to be a lot going on in England’s smallest city on Sunday 12.

Hedgerows removed at a much faster rate than they’ve been planted

Somerset has a rich network of hedgerows, which enable essential corridors for wildlife to travel between habitats. Since World War II, however, hedgerows have been removed at a much faster rate than they’ve been planted, contributing to the decline of many plant and animal species traditionally associated with farmland. The jam and jelly competition provides a great opportunity to highlight what hedgerows have to offer both people and wildlife, as well as a good excuse for a cream tea.

Competition rules and jam label

Don’t forget to check the competition rules PDF and download the special Somerset Wildlife Trust jam label here. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 3. Entries must be delivered to Pickwicks Country Kitchen, who are kindly offering a free hot drink to Trust members who purchase breakfast or lunch when they drop off their entry.

Please let us know if you’re entering by sending Thursa an email at . Just your name and whether you’re making a jam or a jelly will be fine.

The Wells Literature Festival

The Trust will also be hosting a morning of talks and debate from leading environmental writers on Sunday 12 as part of the Wells Festival of Literature -­ click  to find out more.

There will be a delicious range of options for lunch at the festival - click here for details or download the PDF.

Photo © Amy Lewis