Since we moved to our new house, we haven’t been to our local woods very much.We literally live within 5 minutes of fields and hedgerows and the woods can be reached within a 20 minute walk.With numerous days taken up sorting out the house, garden, boring housework, my kids dad’s irregular work pattern which dictates when we get to do stuff on weekends, it was only during the Summer holidays that we’ve made a point of going.
This used to be my playground as a kid.It was where I brought my pony to exercise in the fields, rode a Italiajet 50cc motorbike so far I nearly was caught by the farmer who was in his combine harvester, walked my dog Rebel and where he caught a baby rabbit, picked blackberries, cut Holly in the pitch black, got drunk on my 17th birthday, made dens, lost wellies, recreated the dancing on a log scene from Dirty Dancing, swung on rope swings, found my first mushroom fairy ring and many more memories.
Now I’m making memories with my kids.
But they are going to be short lived.A link road is set to go straight all the fields, the woods are safe but the rest of Birds Marsh is not.It was sold to developers a few years back who have planning permission to build on the 44 hectares, 13 hectares of different types and sizes of homes, accessed via two new roundabout junctions on the B4069 Swindon Road, plans include nearly 21 hectares of strategic open space and six hectares of public open space.The wood would be at least 100 metres away from the houses. The developer also promises a primary school, play areas, a local centre or shop and half a hectare of employment land.
And this is what we were faced with when we went to pick sloes to make sloe gin.
Sad and angry really doesn’t cover emotions I am feeling right now.The field which was absolutely heaving with sloes last year had been replaced with a construction site for the new link road.
But determined to make the most of what we have right now we picked a huge amount of blackberries, crab apples, hawthorn and elderberries to make some hedgerow jelly (recipe to come next week).Meanwhile why not make some Bramble Brandy which I made a few weeks back.
The kids were enthused to finish the den which we all started building last week.Only we found that someone had totally demolished and rebuilt it somewhere else.I personally think it’s better and I tried to cheer the kids up by saying at least it wasn’t completely destroyed, it was simply rebuilt somewhere else.They weren’t totally cobnvince and it took them a while to get into adding to the den with large ferns to help cover it.It was actually pouring down with rain when we went for our walk but the cover of the trees in the woods gave us lots of shelter.
The kids have made a pact with me to visit every Sunday (depending on their dad’s work schedule).I want to take as many photos and write about the changing seasons before it becomes what essentially be a mini town.
Linking up to Fiona’s Country Kids
Farm Holidays Cornwall”>