Cardiff has lost 34 hectares of trees in recent years. Cardiff Civic Society is trying to address this with its urban tree planting project - Canopy Caerdydd - to be launched at The Gate Arts Centre on October 6. Renowned urban tree expect, Cambridge-based Keith Sacre, will be giving a talk on the importance of urban tree cover for our health and well-being, and to carry out important functions such as absorbing air pollution, providing oxygen, and soaking up excess water falling rainstorms.
Celebrate your local park during Love Parks Week – July 15-24.
The Love Parks charity is running its 10th Love Parks Week – aimed at raising awareness of the importance of parks, gardens and other urban green spaces.
Love Parks' manager Anthea Thomas said, “We are really excited about the hundreds of events that are being organised all around the country to celebrate Love Parks Week, and it’s even more special as we mark the tenth year of Love Parks Week. It’s a time to really celebrate our wonderful parks and it’s great to be able to highlight them as a free and easily accessible resource for people to use to keep fit and healthy. We would like to thank all the community groups, councils and members of the public who have embraced and supported the Love Parks campaign.”
Find out more about events, and Love Parks ongoing work by looking up www.loveparks.org.
Balaclava Road in Penylan, Cardiff celebrated its latest Big Lunch with a great street party involving everyone in the road, from small children to the oldest resident in the street.
Organiser, Elizabeth Williams, commented that the annual get-together had created a strong community atmosphere, with everyone in Balaclava Road looking out for one another. She also said that the older residents in the road commented that a much more neighbourly spirit had sprung up since the street parties began, several years ago.
The Big Lunch is the brainchild of the Eden Project, supported by the Big Lottery, with the aim of breaking down social isolation and generating a community spirit.
It's certainly worked in Balaclava Road.
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