Posted: 31/08/2015 at 19:10
If the wild fruit are oblong and purple - they are probably sloes which, incidentally, given the wretched weather this "summer" are a month ahead of normal ripening. So pick soon (next few weeks) freeze, as already advised, and look forward to sloe gin at Christmas. (There! I've said the C word already. Sorry )
If the fruits are more rounded, they are bullaces - and can be treated as damsons. Damson gin is almost (hic) as good as sloe gin - pick now and do the necessary, and you'll have the lovely deep purple liqueur by ummmm January!
Or make jam. Trouble is, I have never found enough of the stones float to the top. So I use a cherry stoner to pop out the stones. Tedious - but worth it for the lovely, deep flavour.