In addition, I've been visiting Highfields regularly for nearly thirty years in the company of my children, then my grandchildren. It is also where I learnt to play bowls and I have attended numerous events in the old park pavilion and tearooms, then in the Djanology Arts Centre and, in recent years, the D H Lawrence Pavilion as well. It is a park I love, not just because of its proximity to Lenton, but because it epitomises everything that a good park should be: beautiful, quiet, serene, fun, educational, life affirming and full of family memories of good times. The list just goes on and on.
There are other parks I love: Wollaton Hall, Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, Barham Park (if it is still called that) in Wembley, Greenwich Park and, of course, Lenton Recreation Ground. None of these have been in my thoughts as much as Highfields since I attended the second meeting of the new Nottingham Open Spaces Forum (NOSF) (which I plan to blog about in more detail in the next week or so). Last week NOSF was told that Highfields is not considered to rank as a 'destination park' attracting visitors from outside Nottingham. It has been ranked as a 'city park'. To be a 'destination park' it would need to have something like Wollaton Hall, Nottingham Castle or Green's Windmill. The Djanology Arts Centre and the D H Lawrence Pavilion don't count because of a technicality — they are not owned by Nottingham City Council. This is plainly a nonsense and flies in the face of common sense, so I have to suspect that there is more to its ranking than meets the eye.
Before sharing a possible reason I want to share with you a few of the pictures I took this morning as I walked along Highfield Park's southern edge.
Past the trucks I turned back towards the park's boundary with University Boulevard and passed by where Tottlebrook goes underground for a while. It is very overgrown as my picture shows. Once my kids and I could paddle here.
Labour's support is in freefall, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll. It shows that the party's position - 14 points behind the Conservatives - is worse than at any time since May 1987, just before Margaret Thatcher won her third election by a landslide.