Bringing some much needed colour to the New Mills countryside, gorse with its acid yellow flowers and prickly green spikes is really welcome in the depths of winter.
These pictures are from the bridleway leading up to Lantern Pike – but gorse is common all over the area.
There are different varieties (common and western gorse) and between them they flower practically all year round which may explain an old saying: ‘When gorse is in bloom, kissing’s in season’.
The flowers have a lovely coconut scent though that’s more noticeable with the warmer weather. Over the years, gorse has been used on fires, to make brooms, feed cows, and even dye easter eggs.
There are also recipes for gorse cordial if you want an unusual cooking challenge for lockdown…