Outdoors: Go autumn foraging and make a great elderberry jelly

Gather elderberries to make a rich red jelly for meats
Gather elderberries to make a rich red jelly for meats Gather elderberries to make a rich red jelly for meats

Autumn foraging walk

It's early autumn and time to take to the outdoors in search of nature's bounty with a fruit picking forage.

Blackberries are ripening for jam making, but a great jelly to make is elderberry. In spring this plant blooms with elderflower – great for making elderflower presse. But at this time of year, the flowers have fruited into little berries.

The bushes are everywhere in parks and countryside. They won't taste good raw, but pick them in bunches, head home, put newspaper down on your table and pick the little berries off the stalks with a fork. An elderberry jelly is lovely to keep for winter meats like turkey and game. Small jars are better to set them in.

A great introduction to foraging is happening today (Saturday) with the Cave Hill Conservation Campaign.

From 10am to 1pm nature expert Phil Simpson will be imparting his wealth of practical knowledge and plant lore. Take a walk in his company to see what useful and tasty plants you can find. Meet at Belfast Castle. Contact Cormac Hamill on 02890 291357 or email

Mud madness

It's mud madness time again for all the family in Co Armagh.

On Saturday September 24 it's mini muddiness for kids and Sunday September 25 its down and dirty for grown ups.

The McVitie's Jaffa Cakes Mud Madness events are mucking out at Foymore Lodge, Portadown.

Visit the Jaffa Cakes Mud Madness Facebook page for all the info.

Half marathon

Don't forget the Belfast Half Marathon takes place today (Saturday) starting and ending at Ormeau Embankment. The route, pictured, snakes around south, east and west Belfast, as well as the city centre. Get out and cheer the runners.