Saturday, 7 April 2007

Messages of hope in the park

Good Friday Lenton churches procession stops at the copper beech stump

Planting a new cherry tree

With the exception of Tuesday, which was cold and overcast, the week before Easter has been very warm and sunny, allowing me to go out in my sandals and to wear my Panama for the first time this year. However, even Tuesday was a good day because I got up to find Dave and some colleagues busy planting several new cherry trees and, even more wonderful, two replacement copper beeches. We lost two mature copper beeches from the Promenade last year to infections possibly caused by the drier weather conditions of recent years, so see the Parks planting two replacements was a wonderful surprise.

Trees are things you hope about. That they will grow to maturity and be enjoyed by future generations who will marvel that this or that tree was planted so long ago and wonder about the people who planted the trees. Trees are such useful and tactile things that I could not imagine living without trees close by and in this respect we are so lucky, to be able to wake up every morning and turn the blinds to see trees. We were sad when our friend the beech had to go, but if we are here in twenty years time we may just see its replacement coming into view and this though fills us with pleasure.

Friday was also 'Good' — as it has been for many hundreds of years — and marks the day Christians believe Jesus was crucified, so it is especially important to them and yesterday, whilst I was in the park taking photographs of rubbish among other things, I saw this procession snaking towards me along the path. It took me a moment or two to see the young man at the head carrying the simple wooden cross, but then they stopped by the stump of one of the chopped down copper beeches and used it as a platform on which to display their cross. I suspect they were marking the twelve stations of the cross around Lenton and one was in Lenton Recreation Ground. From faces that I knew they were from more than one church or group, so to see them together and in a public place was uplifting.

Occasionally we see wedding parties from the Sikh temple which backs onto the park and it is truly wonderful to see lots of people in beautifully coloured clothes. There are a couple of small mosques close by. It would be nice if all the local faith groups would make more use of Lenton Recreation Ground and become more part of the community instead of being cloistered in their own space. Why can't the park be used for spiritual activities as well as fun and relaxation, especially since there is a corner already set aside for the creation of a Nottingham Peace Garden?

This has been a good week in the park and one which promises hope in a number of ways.

Governments water down scientists' climate change report.

1 comment:

Stef said...

It's great this blogspot! Keep up the good work. I think you need to do an entry for the park's H.Q. a.k.a' the mess room'!!

I project managed the park's refurbishment between 2005-7 and really enjoyed seeing the place transform from a well loved - but run down, tired park, to one that is now in better shape to meet the demands and expectations of the community. I've worked on a number of projects across the City - and even though I've now left the Council, have an affection for the 'Rec'. I ordered these trees earlier this year, so it's glad that I there's this blog to let me keep my eye on Dave! It's good to see the trees go in, as both Dave and myself were concerned with the amount of trees that were removed earlier this year following the periodic tree inspection.

I think that one of the biggest assets of the park is the staff - they are the people who day in day out take a great deal of pride in looking after the park, create a visible and reassuring uniformed presence and work hard to keep the park safe and enjoyable for everyone. One of the biggest challenges we had was the park's biggest downfall - and that is it's size. It's so popular that we could really have done with twice the space. I think it is the only park in the City that would merit a third green, a fourth club has joined the park and I'm sure that if there was the capacity, more would want to move to the park.

I occassionally drive past the park and will no doubt drop in over the summer, but I have seen that the three 'Ulmus New Horizon' (elms) that were planted last year (this variety is so popular, we had to wait a year for delivery!)are doing really well. They're getting plenty of water - from either the heavens or Dave - to help get them well established. It's crucial that new trees are well cared for in the first two years.

A comment for Robert - don't forget to add the link to the Green Flag awards web page!