Wednesday 26 October 2016

Sloe Decline

Out walking today, I noticed that there were hardly any viable sloes on the blackthorn bushes. What fruit there was looked shrivelled, leathery and, well, as good as dead. I'd noticed the same thing, to a lesser extent, in Derbyshire and in my local nature reserve (where I had that memorable encounter with a Brown Hairstreak, whose food plant is blackthorn). What is going on? I had a look online, and it's not good news - cool wet weather at the wrong time of the blackthorn year has encouraged a fungal infection known colloquially as 'plum pocket' to strike, with dire effects on the fruit (read all about it here). And this was the year I was going to try my hand at making sloe gin. Ah well...


  1. For the last couple of years, the sloes up here on Merseyside have been ready in August. We picked a bumper crop of huge fat ones. Could it be the same where you are and the ones you see now are simply old and hard as the remaining blackberries.
    I have been a silent follower for a while now, but really need to say how much I enjoy your wonderfully eclectic blog. Honestly - it's inspiring. Thank you. Jenny.

  2. Well thank you very much Jenny - always good to hear. Maybe I'd be wise to seek out my sloes earlier next year.