From 4Dorset October 2016, page 17
Young Memories of an Old Fisherman
By Trevor Randall, Cherry Tree Propagator
Trevor shares these memories with us in recognition of the work Cherry Tree volunteers have been doing with the Stour Valley wardens and the wildlife walks they share together.
There used to be a lovely island full of wildlife on the River Stour between Cherry Tree and Redhill. The channel on either side of the island was very deep, but so narrow I can remember people putting a scaffolding plank down to walk across from the riverbank.
There were a few trees on the island, and the river alongside it was always full of massive silvery shoals of roach with orange-red fins, weighing up to 3 lbs each. There were some huge pike and I once watched one of them pull a full-sized mallard duck under the water!
At the top end of the island was a very deep hole where I used to fish with my friend Alan, using my grandfather’s old wooden sea rod, and wooden centre-pin reel. Every so often I used to hook the same old eel – I could only get his head above the water before he would shake the rod and break the line, even though I used the very strongest fishing line I could find. Alan and I hooked him many times, but he always got away.
There were many birds on the island, and it was especially good for different types of warbler. Two great crested grebes used to nest in the rushes, and I have to say their courtship in ritual formation was truly spectacular.
Later on, down past the island, they changed the course of the river. But there are still a few trees in the field as you look down towards Redhill which used to be along the bank of the river when it ran alongside Redhill caravan park. The river is far away now, and the island no longer exists.
Click here to see map: trevors-stour-valley-map-centred
Cherry Tree Nursery, off New Road Roundabout, Northbourne.
Open 8 to 3.30 weekdays, 9 to 3 Saturdays, 10 to 3 Sundays.