A Patch of Green

Last night, after tea, my husband announced that we should all go for a walk on the Valley. To a chorus of groans and calls for one more episode of Scooby Doo, he insisted. And, he was right. It was a glorious evening. We took our ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ football (a top quality piece of kit!), and walked through the grass paths of Primrose Valley to the playing fields where we ran about and played.

The photo I took at the end of our time there really does sum up how lovely it was, even though it’s somewhat rose-tinted through an Instagram filter.

When we think of the great outdoors, we may think of the National Parks, which for me means the Yorkshire Dales or the North York Moors. We think of beautiful and protected landscapes. Those are the jewels in the crown of our national, natural environment. And rightly so. But I would argue that they are not the green spaces that make the most difference. What makes the most difference to people is green space on our doorstep, close enough to where we live for it to form part of our everyday lives and not just be part of a special occasion or to see en route to the coast. This, proven to have positive effects on both our physical and mental health, can be sadly lacking in less wealthy areas. People are too scared to use green spaces, or they’re just not used to the idea that time spent outdoors, just for the sake of a walk or run about in the fresh air, can be great.

When I posted my photo, people commented on how perfect it looked. I blame my use of Instagram for that. It’s not perfect. There is litter, people let their dogs use it as a toilet around the edges, and yes, there can be the odd bout of anti-social behaviour (and here isn’t the place for looking at the deeper causes of that).

But it’s also one of the reasons we wanted to live here. It’s a giant, often underused, patch of wild green space in the city. Thankfully it has a small committed band of volunteers working to keep it looking as good as it does. I love it here. And we’ll be back again after tea another day…

Where is your favourite patch of green space? Is there one close to where you live? I’d love to know…


6 Comments to “A Patch of Green”

  1. Not where I live, but where I used to work, there was a large patch of green… I used to go there every lunchtime, to practice my Poi spinning, sit under my favourite tree and chill out, chat to the dog walkers & make friends with their dogs (I still miss Jack & Shep!).

    When there were people from the council digging bits of it up to see if it was suitable for being built on, I wrote to the council to say that there were lots of empty buildings near there, and to please not destroy one of the few bits of green on the industrial estate. It worked! I remember getting the letter on a bitter-cold snowy day, and going out to my tree anyway to tell it that it was safe!

  2. Funny, I was just digging up the last of the potatoes in my allotment today and I imagined ‘suits’ turning their noses up at such ‘menial’ work. But of course, it’s not about profit and loss or cost-benefit-analysis … It’s about being in the moment and re-connecting with the very basis of life.

    “Who is the poorer” I asked myself, “those that have dug for potatoes or those who have never done so?”

  3. This looks gorgeous! My favourite place is down by the beach which is at the bottom of my road 🙂 x

  4. What a gorgeous photo! It reminds of 1970s summers 🙂

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