We arrived in Netherwich Basin, situated in the centre of Droitwich, yesterday soon after lunch.
The Captain had been itching to try out the newly opened Droitwich canal since he first heard about it and was a tad narked that we could not get there for the grand opening at the weekend. Travelling in the opposite direction were a steady stream of boaters that he recognised from his blog. The general impression seemed to be positive. A bit of tweaking required here and there, but basically a wonderful new addition to the waterways.
Well, all this boaty talk was all very well and I was interested to a point. But I could only muster enthusiasm for a short while before my attention wandered to the hedgerows. Along the new stretch, there were no hedgerows yet to speak of. Give it time. I fully expect them to be abundant with exciting species soon enough. I am confident because once under the low, make that very low, M5 bridge (actually we had 3″s to spare) we joined old Droitwich Barge Canal there were many exciting things to see. Most thrilling were the wild plum trees which seem to line this stretch.
However, these were nothing compared to the delights waiting in the Basin. Having moored on the new pontoons we took a walk into the town for a look around. I was armed with my foraging basket and the Captain with his camera. I had already scouted out a Wild Cherry Tree and some more Japanese Rosehips so went prepared.
To my delight and astonishment, we discovered a mini grove of Cherry Plum Trees growing wild! The fruit was perfectly ripe, with both yellow and red available, and they pretty much fell into my basket.
I was enraptured. We also found a bank of ripe brambles which seems ridiculously early but to pass them by on that pretext would have been rude.
Carrying my goods back to the boat was not easy (but look how pretty they were!).
Nor was dealing with all the fruit. But breakfasting this morning on newly baked bread, butter and very fresh wild cherry plum jam was extremely delicious.
It is also very satisfying knowing that I picked enough fruit for eight jars of yellow Cherry Plum Jam, seven jars of Red Cherry Plum Jam, two large jars of Cherry Plum Gin, I large jar of Wild Cherry Brandy and 1 medium jar of Bramble Whisky.
This evening we are moored in Worcester. Tomorrow, we shall be back in Droitwich and I shall make a return to the Cherry Plum Trees as I have plans to make some Plum ‘beena :o)