I pass through this park regularly on my way to the allotment. There’s a path that runs between the railway line and a row of mixed trees, shrubs and brambles. I’ve got to know this path well and the greenery has furnished me with bountiful material for eco printing purposes.
I am on nodding terms with chimes of wrens, quarrels of sparrows, murders of magpies, pandemonia of parakeets, kits of wood pigeons and flotillas of gulls. Then there are the skulks of foxes.
I am greeted with enthusiasm by a good number of dogs regularly exercised in the park. There’s Jerry the springer (and his venerable and jokey master, two black labs in jaunty red harnesses and there are deceits of dogs of every pedigree under the authority of their professional dog walkers.
Little did I know that my eco prints would become epitaphs for this park, for it is to be developed into housing. Where there is birdsong will soon be a shrill of scaffolding, a grumble of machines.
I pray all this won’t begin until this year’s fledgings.
I recently posted a blog Soil Soul Society in which Satish Kumar gave a talk about being the change in urban areas, of finding ways of planting and growing – by creating and maintaining personal gardens (so often concreted over these days for parking space for a second, third or even fourth car), by taking up plots in allotments, or instigating community gardens.
There’s a shortage of houses, they say. We also need green spaces around houses, so we can get away from each other, chill out, think, get some air. Feed ourselves, for which we need soil, the fertile soil that is being more and more, buried beneath new houses.
There may not be another Spring in this park, so here is a bouquet in tribute, of flowers of oak, on silk.
There may never be another flowering of the oaks from which these flowers blossomed and fell almost into my hands as I walked beneath them.