Jam-making is very much in vogueForaging expert predicts bumper year for wild fruit and berries; Wild Jam Maker app Jam-makers are licking their lips in anticipation after an expert predicted what could be the best ever year for wild fruit and berry harvests in the UK.

Leading foraging expert Chris Bax said the warmest spring on record has filled the nation's trees and bushes with blossom, which points to a bumper fruit harvest.

Wild raspberries and strawberries are already starting to show and there are good signs of a fantastic blackthorn crop; meanwhile, commercially grown strawberries are already 150 per cent up and grape harvests are expected to set new records.

All of which is music to the ears of the nation’s jam-makers. Once considered the preserve of older generations, it is enjoying a renaissance thanks to celebrity jam-makers such as Kate Moss and Zoe Ball who have helped jam jars sales double in the last 12 months.

Mr Bax, who runs Taste The Wild and is an advisor to British cooker manufacturer Stoves, said: “We’ve had optimum growing conditions with a harsh, cold winter and a spring with little frost and the warmest ever temperatures – a perfect climatic event for our nation’s wild fruit and berries.

“I expect the country to be laden with fruit, and with wild species such hawthorn and wild cherry in abundance, it’s great news if you want to make your own jam with free fruit.”

To capitalise on the bumper fruit harvest and the appetite for jam-making, Stoves has commissioned Mr Bax to produce an iPhone app showing how to collect free wild fruit and berries with recipes for home-made jam.

The ‘Wild Jam Maker’ app lists fruits and berries growing wild in the UK and recipes include Sea Buckthorn Jam and Wild Cherry Jam. The free app can be downloaded from the Apple App store now at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/wild-jam-maker/id442848466?mt....

Jane Rylands, Stoves’ brand manager, said: “Jam-making is very much in vogue at the moment and with such a bumper crop of fruit this year, our free app will help Britain’s jam-makers find new and interesting recipes using ingredients direct from the land.”

Free fruit is bursting not just from the great British countryside, but also in our towns and cities too – you can pick rowan, blackberry and cherry plum in urban areas.

The world’s biggest jam festival – the WI Stoves Real Jam Festival – will take place in October this year. Last year’s event attracted more than 500 entries from men, women and children across the UK.