Sunday, 2 March 2008

Boots and Alleys

Evidence which cannot be ignored!

Some of those responsible playing football in studded boots today (Sunday).

Church Street cut-through.

Swenson Avenue cut-through from Gregory Street.

Forsythia Gardens cut-through from Gregory Street.

Lois Avenue cut-through from Lenton Boulevard.

The damage being done to the grass on Lenton Recreation Ground by young men playing in studded boots was mentioned in my last blog last Wednesday and I make no apologies for returning to the matter today. This afternon there was an organised game going on and most of the players were wearing studded boots. I managed to catch a few of them in the above picture, together with more pictures typical of the damage to the much of the grass in the areas used by the football and rugby players. If this goes on at the present rate the park can say goodbye to its Green Flag. We have a problem and needs addressing fast. I'm sure that Dave's return from holiday will see some action. I'll keep you posted.

The February 2008 issue of the Nottingham Arrow, which is delivered free by Nottingham City Council to all homes in the city, has a piece about how the city council is 'working on a major project to put all pathways in the city on our maps, including everything from major public rights of way to small alleyways'. I think this project is part of a national project called 'Discovering Lost Ways' which aims to systematically identify as many footpaths and bridleways as possible by 1 January 2026 so that they can be registered under The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2006.

Lenton has its fair share of cut-throughs and alleys. In a short walk around Lenton this afternoon along Church Street, Gregory Street, Sherwin Road and Lenton Boulevard I photographed four cut-throughs. On the surface the city council's aim seem laudable enough, but there could be a darker side to the exercise if other councils in England are anything to go by. The Open Spaces Society has been publicising examples of cut-throughs being closed off by councils in the interests of 'community safety'. Cut-throughs, some councils claim, provide escape routes for criminals and are good places for street robberies and attacks.

This may not be on city council's agenda today, but some bright spark may think it's a good idea tomorrow, so we need to be alert to the possibility if we want to protect Lenton's (and Nottingham's) rights of way, registered or unregistered. I intend to photograph as many as I know over the next few weeks and include them in future blogs and I will share the information with the city council's GIS Team (Exchange Buildings North, Smithy Row, Nottingham NG1 2BS, email: gis@nottinghamcity.gov.uk). We take our rights of way for granted at our peril and efforts to block them off in Lenton have happened before. Just look at the iron gate and railings erected by the Park Estate at the point where Park Road and Lenton Road meet! I will return to this issue in a future blog. For now, let's enjoy our cut-throughs. As my photographs show they are even used on Sunday afternoons!

Israel's military killed at least 60 Palestinians yesterday - almost half of them civilians, including four children - in its most violent assault on the Gaza Strip since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power last June.

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