Oh no! Nottingham City Council is digging up my park!

I had to do a double take driving up the Mansfield Road the other day – the City Council has dug up huge swathes of Woodthorpe Park leaving massive tracts of ploughed ground all around the football pitches on the bit nearest the road. What on earth are they doing, I wondered?

Then I remembered discussions with City Council Parks staff about plans for King George V Park in my own ward, and I’m pretty sure I know what they are doing.

They’re planting wildflower meadows.

This is not a new thing – they did it to my primary school when I was there in 1988. They weedkill a spot of grass, rotivate it to turn the earth up, and then sow wild flower seeds into the space.

They also did it to a roundabout in Chesterfield while I worked up there, and what I learned is that during the early phases, communication with local people is absolutely vital. It looks dreadful for the first few weeks. Then it looks untidy and overgrown, and everyone who sees it has real concerns about what the heck is going on.

Then, however, the flowers start to come out, and suddenly it all makes sense. The flowers look fantastic, and should be in bloom by the summer.

Come the autumn, all the Council has to do is essentially harvest the seeds, leaving enough onsite for the plants to come up again.

So, it looks scary now, but it really is a Good Thing. The wildflower meadows look lovely – particularly by the second summer. They allow for informal play. They’re excellent for biodiversity, wildlife and insects – in particular our troubled bee population that needs all the help it can get. And – whisper it – they’re cheap to maintain – they don’t even need mowing like the huge expanses of grass they replace.

So far I’ve seen the council preparing the ground in Woodthorpe Park and a little triangle of land in the Basford ward, near St Leo’s church, on the ring road. But more are planned across the city.

The scary thing is that the parks staff have told residents in my ward that the KGV Park will get one of the largest patches of meadow anywhere in the city. What they’ve done on Woodthorpe is already huge – so what they are planning for KGV must be enormous!

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Tweets on 2010-04-28

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Tweets on 2010-04-27

  • Was embarrassed to be responding so late to library request of political material for display, but apparently we are only response. #
  • Waiting for a galette – smells amazing. (@ Aubreys Traditional Creperie) http://4sq.com/ctKfio #
  • This is taking so long, I fear they must be growing the olives! Tiny place with 10 covers and only 1 other order. #
  • Once again finding myself humming "Asda Long Eaton" to the tune of Viva Las Vegas. #
  • @tom_geraghty ask them what colour the carpet is 🙂 in reply to tom_geraghty #

  • Now open in sadly faded West End Arcade. Checked whether I was vegan before frying pancake in butter! http://flic.kr/p/7WC4Dh #

  • Oh no! The back half of the bunny has fallen off! http://flic.kr/p/7WyR3c #
  • 12seconds – Bunny wobble test. http://tiny12.tv/X7IGY #
  • 12seconds – Bunny wobble test. http://tiny12.tv/3WZ8S #

  • Tonight's pudding club – homemade spicy blancmange (blackberry coulis not pictured) http://flic.kr/p/7WySXZ #
  • How nice of Chris Leslie to bring so many stakeboards with his face on down with him from his old constituency of Shipley! #NttmE #

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Tweets on 2010-04-26

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Tweets on 2010-04-25

  • Mad phone calls from Cowley Street. Rummaging through a box of old hard drives. (Everyone's gotta box old hard drives, right?) #
  • RT @hannahnicklin "There are currently 10 seats in which candidates are all women" http://bit.ly/aCUcIJ << shame report doesn't say which? #
  • Maybe NOTW / Ipsos Mori have got Labour and the Lib Dems confused? #
  • Blink, and another unproductive but fun hour passes. #
  • just caught myself thinking… better not wear a red t-shirt or people'd think I'd prefer the Labour party in the event of a hung parliament #
  • Lost weight this week. Really didn't deserve to. #
  • Problem with naughty weeks that lead to weight loss is it leads you to believe you can eat anything again. #
  • You think, purely hypothetically, you understand, that driving to the garage and buying 2 sausage rolls and 2 choc bars is ok. #
  • @sarabedford takeaways. No steady mealtimes. No #5aday, no breakfast. Chocolate and cake every day. Bakery items. Alcohol. #
  • Printing extra leaflets for new volunteers (@ Top Secret Lib Dem Print Cave) http://4sq.com/avX0pC #
  • RT @caronmlindsay: @alexwilcock You have had such a rough time. Let's hope it's behind you now. <<< *involuntary snigger* #
  • Flickr does Banksy http://bit.ly/bFYuos #
  • RT @andershanson Loads of people wave and toot their horn when they see @Paulscriven << what hand gesture are we talking about here, hein? #

  • Ordinary water biscuits have 3 more calories and actually taste of something. http://flic.kr/p/7VXwje #
  • Author Alan Sillitoe dies http://bit.ly/cy97Uu << oh no! Just other day he was herding sheep over Trent Bridge http://bit.ly/98bGCS #

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TV’s Gloria de Piero refuses to go on TV

News from the Ashfield constituency, where yesterday I was delivering in a street with a most unusual name.

It appears that Labour’s parachute candidate, TV’s Gloria de Piero, is so frit of her lack of local links that she has pulled out of all hustings engagements, including a piece arranged by the regional TV slot of the Daily Politics.

Gloria De Piero had previously said she would attend hustings on the BBC politics show (25th April), a chamber of commerce breakfast hustings (22nd April), a Nottingham Evening Post hustings (28th April) and Sutton-in-Ashfield churches together hustings (29th April) but has now pulled out.

Liberal Democrat spokesman Stuart Bray said

“Labour are clearly running scared in Ashfield. Geoff Hoon’s antics have caused much anger locally and people feel let down.”

“Gloria De Piero had pledged to be open and accessible to local people but at the first opportunity that local residents had to question her she has chickened out. She has caused a storm in last weeks national press by refusing to talk to the media too. With her background as a London TV presenter surely she is not camera shy? What has she got to hide?

Read more on Ashfield Lib Dems website.

Tweets on 2010-04-24

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