Reddish Vale Country Park
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The Bramble is a native shrub, very common in hedgerows, scrubland, woods and as a garden weed.
Found all over the British Isles.
The sprawling climbing stems can be as long as 5m, rooting where they touch the ground.
There are over 2,000 microspecies of Bramble.
The flowers vary in colour from white to cerise.
Folklore in England holds that the Devil tramples on Bramble bushes, or as they say in some areas spits on them. Therefore one must not pick blackberries after Michaelmas (29 September).
The reason for this belief has ancient origins. It is said that the Devil was kicked out of heaven on St. Michael's Feast Day, but as he fell from the sky, he landed in a Bramble bush! He cursed the fruit of that prickly plant, scorching them with his fiery breath, stamping on them, spitting on them and generally making them unsuitable for human consumption.
Legend suggests that he renews his curse annually on Michaelmas Day and therefore it is very unlucky to gather blackberries after this date.
The long arching stems of Bramble (and wild roses) were once known as 'lawyers' because of the trouble you had escaping if you happen to fall into their clutches.
Native Americans made fibre from the stem, it was used to make strong twine.
Blackberry seeds were found in the stomach of a Neolithic man dug up at Walton-on-the Naze, Essex.