One of the first trees to blossom each year, the Blackthorn does so before it even has any leaves, and this is one of the ways to distinguish it from the not dissimilar Hawthorn. The early flowers are a boon for bees. At the other end of the year, the Blackthorn produces big blue-black sloes, whilst the Hawthorn has the smaller red berries. Sloes, of course, can be used in the production of gin – try some from Sloemotion, partners in our gin event and a business that have sustainability and nature at the heart of their operation. The black twigs of the Blackthorn (hence the name) feature some fearsome long thorns, and if they break off under your skin they have some dodgy bacteria that can give you a very nasty infection. Bit of trivia: Black Rod’s rod, with which he bangs that door in Parliament, is made of Blackthorn. If you haven’t already done so, take a look at our re-vamped website (link below), where you can also read about the Hawthorn.