What a great idea - a bit too late for the excuse for some unfortunately - but we do need to think about how we look after the bees and other pollinating insects. Growing plants that don't flower or lawns made out of plastic or concrete don't help much with the crisis faced by insects and wildlife. Time to sow and grow something that the bees love.There's a lot more info here:https://www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts/
Philippa Bond ● 161d21 Comments
The largest part of Lammas Park was mowed this morning. There are still some daisies and buttercups around amongst the other low growing wild flowers in the grass.You can't see where dog dirt has been picked up. So you have to remember the old routine of hand washing as soon as you get home and wet wipes for hands before eating in the park (the only time we ever use wet wipes - bin don't flush)
Philippa Bond ● 136d
Just back from Haven Green via Montpelier Park and it's a toss up which is in the worse condition. Haven Green needs a cut, especially with the mention of dog fouling. If the grass is knee high then you don't know what you may be sitting in. Still with the latest mention of high rises being passed as OK and mentioned for Greenford we at least know where the Labour priorities lie.
peter king ● 137d
I'm sure central Govt would love to build over them otherwise why don't they consider them important enough to expect and ensure Councils protect and spend more maintenance on? Like many things it is just the hard work and luck of the grant.It is interesting to see that Richmond on Thames still offer their compostable sacks for sale to their residents who only occasionally have garden waste. They don't have to have a subscription to the regular fortnightly garden waste service.
Philippa Bond ● 137d
I don't mind small areas being left to fallow for a bit and sown with wildflowers. That bit of Ealing Common looked super last year. But other than Cadbury's Flake style photos, there's not a lot that it can be used for.Ticks, Fleas and Lice are a big problem.Borage, a lovely but virulent plant is popping up in Lammas park and Walpole park. Great for bees but has leaves that cause easy skin irritations and trigger inflammation to those who have certain types of arthritis.There are a few other ground plants that weave into grass which both chokes the grass but is not too good if in contact with skin.There are certainly far more dogs locally than ever before. The new must have accessory. But owners are far more responsible than decades ago. But both Dog and Fox urine is toxic as well as faeces. It's not ideal for such large parts of the parks to be used as lavatories. At least with short grass faces can be spotted and removed and hat's off the the vast majority of owners who diligently do that.But urine? Only a light watering can deal with that. Dogs are not to blame nor are responsible or diligent owners.It's the poor management of facilities that stands out.Policies using a fad as cover to simply eve proper maintenance and save a few quid are de rigour in these parts. Gunnersbury Parks renowned variety of rare wildlife has been wiped out by foraging Dogs and the trampling of the better parts of it's grounds from events. More to do with poor management of the Parks facilities than the owners.The long established, now removed golf Course may well have been a man made creation but since the 1960s has been a haven for very rare species and the only place I have seen hedgehogs, SlowWorms and Natterjacks ( with no pond in sight!) in the last few years. Turning it into a dog walkers area where they forage has been reckless. Especially as the management chose to ignore the risk warnings and paid a conservationist to report what they wanted to hear as justification.Now they want to destroy the Bowling Green and it's long established shrubs and herbaceous borders for a plastic Crazy Golf Course.Pure greedy environmental vandalism.
Raymond Havelock ● 137d
They are places for more than just people. Unfortunately there are masses of dogs who are brought to the parks just to use them as toilets and you can't see where they've been if their owners have cleaned up after them and you can still get toxoplasmosis because there is still residue and you don't know how diligent and caring owners are about worming their dogs... It must be 30 years since I campaigned outside the town hall about getting owners to clean up after their dogs.There used to be a special sandpit in Kensington Gardens or Holland Park just for dogs to use. Most dog owners now seem to be more responsible but like litter it is something that needs regular revisiting.Anyway in a lot of the parks it is just parts of them where the grass is longer. I've yet to see nettles but there are many reasons to reintroduce these in places.
Philippa Bond ● 138d
So its out of bounds for hay fever suffered and those with allergies who cannot use parks, Ok for animal faeces to go undetected, Ok for children to risk toxoplasmosis or risk serious eye infections from faeces?Not maintaining the park grass will leave lumps and clumps.Not much good for games, walking and simply sitting down and picnicking.So it's OK for litter to lurk in the long grass, including broken glass and crushed cans and those little gas canisters.?OK for someone else to have to clear up and OK for us all ultimately to have to pay for the extra labour and costs?There are a dozen quite valid and common sense reasons why Urban Parks are manicured, mostly health based. And why there are manicured parks in rural areas too. For the very same reasons. Carefully designed to avoid irritant vegetation and to maximise variety of use. From playing bursts of colour and planting to varieties of trees and shrubs, placing walks and space to play and sit safely.Ideas that spawned from an era of increasing densification of urban life, plagued with TB, Bronchitis, and many ailments, seriously nasty pollution and scrubland and heathland that was not much use other than for grazing and wildlife.Daisys and Buttercups also grow in abundance in cut grass. If you have ever lived in the countryside then you will know that that lovely view is not quite so lovely when you stray into it. You have to be careful, fit and very able. It's usually following tracks and enjoying views, but thats about all you can do without being tooled up. A park you should be able to just walk to at any time and enjoy any way. Not have to go there when the pollen count is low or with hiking boots and protective clothing.
Raymond Havelock ● 138d
If you think it's too late anyway, you can have no-mow June instead, the daisies will still grow. And a bit of nature having intruded into our parks and gardens for a month is a good thing, whatever the critics say.
Irving Jones ● 139d
By the way, it is not just about the parks. It is good for all other grassy spaces including lawns. So if you have a lawn, why not enjoy buttercups, daisies, buzzing bees and busy birds for a month while you relax. Afterwards, by all means bring your mower out and turn your space into a boring green desert.
Irving Jones ● 139d
You can't safely sit on the grass anywhere anyway to eat a sandwich as even when picked up dog there is dog dirt residue. Watch what happens long enough and you'll be put off sitting down or eating or touching anything.
Philippa Bond ● 141d
At least the dogs get to use it, judging by the ‘messages’ they leave there for unsuspecting humans!
Simon Hayes ● 141d
As others have suggested, leaving tracts of our public parks unmowed, or 'wild' as they prefer to call it, just puts those areas out of bounds to people who want to use the park. You can't play with a ball or a frisbee or wheel anything or even comfortably walk or sit down where the grass has been left so long. It might be OK to look at, but I'd say half our local park has now been put out of practical use, and this at a time when increasing numbers of people want to use it.
Peter Evans ● 141d
Perceval House got the go ahead from the Mayor this week. Apparently Theresa £300,000 s106 payment included to put towards outside space improvements (ie Walpole Park). That’s nothing really, and unlikely to actually be spent on that anyway since the park has had constant ‘improvements’ in recent years.Considering the size of that development, and the many others now planned for Uxbridge Road, the adjacent parks are set to become very crowded.
Simon Hayes ● 142d
I occasionally find myself wondering what planet you are on some of the time! Ealing council should focus on getting the basics right first before their ideology takes over. My local park is a mess, it looks unappealing which is a problem going forward because an awful lot of people will need access to a maintained green space with all the high rise homes being built.
peter king ● 142d
That is your very cynical and biased view. I don't believe that Councils are actually obligated to look after the parks. The fact that they do what they do is a bonus for all of us.https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes-interiors/gardens/a36325312/no-mow-may-plantlife/Govt paid for the LTN equipment because that is what Govt wanted done without consultation. The stipulation was deliberately without consultation.There are authoritarians at either end of the spectrum.
Philippa Bond ● 143d
The bottom line is Ealing council would rather spend our money on 20mph signs and 24hr bus lane signs than upkeep the parks. They were lucky that government money paid for the LTN equipment or we'd be even more short of cash
peter king ● 144d
we are all humans but that does not mean we are all good humans. Some are irritants and some are invasive and some wipe out others.
Raymond Havelock ● 145d
Sadly, our Victorian parks do not look too good.This is not such a good idea for the reasons being put out.Parks are for people to rest and play. Sadly the long grass now harbours ticks, fleas and weeds that can cause nasty skin irritations. Plus hidden litter, broken glass, fox and dog faeces which is not so easy to spot or remove.And in this weather longer grass remains wet and soaks your clothes and shoes.You should not have to dress as though going on a outward bound hike to enjoy a walk in the park. Or carry a first aid kit.But the grass has taken a pounding and the grassed areas of Walpole Park looks really tatty and unkempt. it looks so careworn and neglected.It needs to recover but simply letting grassed areas go to heathland weed patches contradicts the exact ethos of a public park being a safe and accessible place free of nature nasties.The Victorians put a lot more though and common sense into well being than the knee jerk naivety currently being practiced.That's why open spaces and parks differ. Urban Parks are for easy and safe access. Richmond Park and Country parks differ in that respect.Better to cordon off the damaged areas and let recover properly than create more problems.This is probably more to do with saving money and being less than honest about that motive.
Raymond Havelock ● 145d
I agree. I think people give up too easily on 'living grass or lawn' when there are different types of grass let alone different plants to try.
Philippa Bond ● 146d
There is always the even more eco option of a chamomile lawn which not only consumes less water and requires less care, however, instantly increase the biodiversity of the site.
Victor Helm ● 153d
Utrecht has some lovely bus stops:https://www.archdaily.com/921850/utrecht-creates-300-bee-friendly-bus-stops#Very early this year I enjoyed watching through the windows the bees on the early flowering shrub honeysuckle in the back garden through the window and now that is nearly over on street side the whitebeam is flowering and covered in bees.
Philippa Bond ● 154d