Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Park Life

I'm lucky, I now live surrounded by countryside it's great. Sure life is a bit harder now but I'm getting a lot more out of the experience than it is costing my in terms of expenditure of energy. I am now realising how cut off the majority of city dwellers, and particularly Londoners, are from being able to experience nature. Sure there are some good parks dotted about the place but when you divide the amount of space there is in the parks by the number of people there are in the city you soon realise that there is not a lot to go around. Being out in nature is important, we are animals after all and the further we get from nature the more we forget the simple pleasures of life. There is nothing like going to a park to get away from it all with a good book or maybe a bunch of friends for a bit of a kick around or a game of frisby.

You can imagine my suprise when I heard that moves are afoot to build a fence (2m high) around the whole green grassy area of Bishops Park and cover it in astro turf. Now you might think that this is a crazy thing to do but them folks at Fulham FC think that it’s a great idea. There is, to my simple mind at least, a huge lack of green areas in London and it’s very strange in this day and age that anyone proposing to destroy one of the remaining green areas is even given the time of day. It seems though that the proposal is being given full consideration even in face of the fact that there are brown field sites in the neighbourhood that could be developed.

One of my colleagues lives close to the park and is obviously rather concerned about this, she wrote the following.

The beauty of our park is that it is this big open space that is lined on all but one side by large bushes and trees, it is a total escape from the city – you can use this place how you see fit with no restriction on time or group size, the proposal for the sports pitches will totally destroy this. We had a meeting last night with the Football Club and the Environmental Councillor (who by the way seem to be in cahoots) and they totally ignored our questions and skirted around the issues of developing brown field sites. A mother stood up with her two kids 2 and 4 and asked did they not think it was important that these city children be able to embrace nature and learn about it on their doorstep, did they not know how invaluable being able to run around an open space and get muddy was? The mother was told that the football club would allow her access at specific times to the astro turf courts! Wow what a pleasure that will be for he children, everybody loves a bit of plastic. The environmental officer is quoted as saying in a private meeting; I can’t see what all the fuss is about it’s only covering some bit of grass with plastic!

http://www.savebishopspark.com/

7 comments:

Zara-thustra said...

Greetings Ditch Monkey (and Bruce)! I've been following the blog since you got a mention on the Guardian website; I was intrigued by the romantic modern day Henry David Thoreau's Walden equivalent, though of course I appreciate insect bites, strange noises, mud, conveniences and all the rest of it sort of take the glamour out of parts of it! Weather's turning a bit grim today too, so I hope you don't get washed away tonight!

It's interesting to read about your adaptation to a minimalist living, and a sort of bonding to nature, but what I'm really eager to discover is your adaptation back to permanent home living once the year's up - so hopefully you'll keep us updated once your mission's finished, and I'll happily send a donation to the Woodland Trust.

By the way, I read somewhere (don't know if it's true), that Ray Mear's spends 360 or so days of the year living and sleeping outside.

SameOld said...

Good point, Zara-thrustra, about Thoreau. I read Walden last year but just hadn't made the connection between DM and Thoreau. It seems obvious now...

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

OK, will keep this going for a bit at the end of the year.

Have read a bit of Thoreau but thought it could do with more car chases really.

SameOld said...

LOL! Yeah, Thoreau's lacking in exploding helicopters and foxy heroines in jump suits too :-)

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

All it takes is a little re-write. I thinking walking would be improved thus

Moreover, you must walk like a camel, which is said to be the only beast that ruminates when walking. When a traveler asked Wordsworth's servant to show him her master's study she answered, "hah, you're no traveller you're the masked man" grabbing him in her trademark head lock she put her face to his and looking him hard in the eye continuing "Here is his library, but his study is out of doors. Now hand over the keys to the porshe and tell me the where you are keeping my daughter".
A silenced pistol held by a gloved hand appears in the window and coughs death, the traveller falls dead before being able to reveal her daughter's whereabouts.

Living out of doors, in the sun and the wind, will no doubt produce a certain roughness of character and so it is that the servant kicks the dying traveller, grabs the keys to the porshe and dives through the window.

SameOld said...

Hmm-mmm, much better, in a sort of Tarantino stylee. That servant of Wordsworths was one bad mother-f. She probably wore a yellow tracksuit and had a big sword...

Zara-thustra said...

I sense a new novel could come from this winter's cold night evenings. :)