Great to see swifts soaring overhead once more. Fabulous though it is to see them, many colonies are under threat. Loss of traditional nesting sites under the eaves of old buildings is a big problem. While renovation is great for home owners, it's not so great for swifts. To find out more have a look at the RSPB's site - https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/s/swift
Urban green space contributes beyond measure to our health and well-being, providing havens of peace and serenity in our busy lives. As councils become increasingly strapped for cash, there is a danger that these green oases, or elements of them, may be parcelled out to private companies. Unless we are vigilant, we will see play areas where parents have to pay for access, running tracks that cost the jogger to join, 3G pitches etc, that generate income. This flies in the face of the spirit of public parkland, much of it donated by Victorian benefactors for the benefit of society. We should not compromise this to plug a short-term gap in local authority budgets. Defend your parkland!
In praise of horses
Lovely time riding at Cardiff Riding School this week. Riding is the perfect therapy, blocking out all of life's stresses. The school is located in Pontcanna Fields and provides scores of people with the opportunity to ride in friendly and encouraging surroundings. If you haven't tried riding, give it a go. It's never too late.
In the most incredible comeback, the magnificent Sprinter Sacre came back from ill-health to win the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival yesterday. Jockey Nico de Boinville, and trainer Nicky Henderson, were overjoyed. The king has regained his crown in the most spectacular fashion. I only wish I had been there. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/35824326