Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Clifton delight

Clifton Park is not one of the city's better known parks, but it deserves to be. Susan and I went and had a wander last Saturday afternoon. The sky was full of what I call 'autumn light', as if the changing colours of the leaves are reflected back to Earth. I first noticed the trees when I went on a No.2 bus to South Notts College to sign up for a course I will be doing in the new year and made up my mind to return — hence the visit on Saturday. What I immediately loved about the park was the trees and how it flowed out and along a neighbouring road, creating a green way across the middle of Clifton.

The trees provide the park with a wonderful canopy of green. The trees also result in gentle breezes which rustle the leaves in a soothing, singsong, fashion. I think the size and distribution of the trees play a part in the sense of harmony which exists. The trees do not tower over you in a menacing kind of a way. Instead they embrace you.
During our walk we met these two ladies soaking up the sun with Molly the dog. They visit the park most weekends and said how lovely it is. They seemed genuinely pleased that we had come the couple of miles from Lenton to visit the park. It turned out they were originally from Rise Park and come to the park because one of them now lives in Clifton.

The park's paths cross every now and again and to the right of this picture there is a stream in a grass banked ditch, all overgrown, and, in truth, not much to look at. Remembering what has been done at Daybrook Recreation Ground, the thought did cross my mind if more could be made of the stream?

This is a picture of the eastern end of the 'greenway', which runs parallel to the Swanscombe Drive (the road to the north of Clifton Park), and links Farnborough Road to the Park's north-east entrance. The park and this greenway was conceived and planned during World War Two and construction began not long afterwards. In fact, Clifton only became part of Nottingham in 1948. In my view, the planning and layout of new estates and towns peaked around this time and it has been downhill ever since. I know all the arguments about cars and the cost of housing, but I still think that all new developments should have to include open space and greenways.

Susan spotted this Silver Birch tree and said it was the largest one she can remember ever seeing. It looks magnificent. I think it is one of my favourite trees.

Finally, I could not resist this park gate! Whatever was inside the metal frame has gone, perhaps stolen and sold to a dealer as scrap for the price of a fix or a drink. Wherever you go in Nottingham, it appears to be a feature of its parks that they have gates which do not close, are missing or are pointless. If there was a review of gates and fencing in the city's parks, the Parks Dept might be able to sell what isn't needed and the money raised spent on our parks instead of going to drug dealers and those who sell alcohol.

View Larger Map

This link with Google Earth shows Clifton Park in Nottingham.

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