The season of Mellow Fruitfulness & Pooh Sticks.

The end of the summer holiday saw us, with the grandchildren, visiting the Knapp and Paper-mill reserve of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Link                                              The reserve lies in the Teme valley and the Malvern Hills area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

After a picnic at the entrance to the site, where we were watched by a cheeky Robin, we set off to explore, our youngest granddaughter could remember visiting with her school, they do have an educational facility on site. You come first to the old orchard, where some of the trees were laden with apples, which I assume previously belonged to Knapp House…

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You can venture down to the stream at several different places with a willow hide at one, placed specifically for viewing Kingfishers.

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Leigh Brook

The Knapp weir was originally used to divert water to the watermill.

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There are meadows…

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…and steep wooded banks.

 

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The hedgerows were bearing clusters of autumn fruit, which I am sure the bird life will appreciate later in the year.

The Elderberry has long been a favourite for making into wine. We made some many years ago, I have to record it was a nice but powerful drink.

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Sambucus nigra

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The GuelderRose was looking spectacular, already developing its wonderful autumn leaf colour. The berries contain one seed which is distributed by the birds.

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Viburnum opulus

Wild Hops gracefully covered many of the hedgerows and trees. It is of course cultivated for the flavouring of beer. (There is an alcoholic theme developing here!) There are male and female hop plants, the female grows the flowers that we associate with beer brewing while the male has catkins. Worcestershire and Herefordshire was historically an important hop producing area along with Kent.

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Humulus lupulus

Also covering the trees and hedgerows was ‘Old Man’s Beard’, this is the country name given to the wild Clematis when it is covered with its whispery seed heads.

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Clematis vitalba

Standing on a small bridge over the steam the girls decided to play Pooh Sticks…

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…The only problem was we could not tell which stick belonged to who, so they both claimed to have won!

IMG_3987The visit made a fitting end to the summer holidays, reminding us that autumn is on its way and like nature we should be filling the store cupboard. (Not least with wine to fight the winter chills!)

 

14 thoughts on “The season of Mellow Fruitfulness & Pooh Sticks.

  1. Oh that looks like a fabulous place to visit Brian and your grandchildren must have enjoyed themselves. My golden hop seems to be on steroids this year – it must have been the result of the hot summer. Have never tried elderberry wine but we have the main ingredient very close to hand 🙂

    Like

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