My husband and I discovered Oxford's wild blackberries yesterday. I had enjoyed them over the summer at Cambridge (particularly on the lovely walk to Granchester), but had yet to enjoy them here.
After exploring all of Lady Margaret's 12 acres of playing fields, gardens, lattice and vine-covered walkways, circular benches, and Alice-in-Wonderland-styled hedges, we set out to the neighboring University Park, over the High Bridge, and into the sunlit-filled meadows (for this, I highly recommend using high rubber galoshes, as sported by myself and our English co-walkers). Being from the Rocky Mountains where the mountain spilled into our backyard, there is something particularly calming about a brush with nature for me. England's nature is a bit more tame than that I've encountered at home, as it seems all undeveloped land has been enclosed by fences or cleared for pasturing animals.
But the wild is certainly preserved by its berries. Although the season is late, and this must have been the fourth crop, we still found ample (though small) blackberries in every meadow through which we passed. We enjoyed them as part of our mid-walk snack. As my husband said, Thoreau would have approved.