Ranger’s Blog – November 2023
17th November 2023
We always say that the Commons are for the enjoyment of our Community and so when we receive compliments and kind words, it really does make my heart swell. However, there is a heck of a lot of work going on in the background to achieve my aim of making it look like I haven’t done anything at all. Strimming of a verge, cutting back a few branches, the clearance of small areas of scrub, should all look as natural as possible, we’re not a park with fancy straight lines and polished lawns, we’re a Commons, a bit rough round the edges, but thriving and looking glorious. We love it, I love it and I hope you do too.
The Commons do provide a lot of different reactive challenges for me to deal with such as fly-tipped rubbish, fires, rough sleepers, broken bottles, graffiti, and all manner of other spontaneous issues. These are very much a part of this job and so I no longer view them as additional challenges that keep thwarting my plans. If you see anything that doesn’t look quite right, I’d really encourage you to get in touch via email, email@example.com, to report/ask/query, because you are our extra eyes and ears and we really value your help. In return we always aim to respond to reported issues as quickly as possible, to keep the Commons in tip top condition. Speaking of eyes, we all love to see the Commons captured through your eyes, especially the images that make you smile, so do please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org, your own photos taken on the Commons as we’d love to both see them and share them with the community.
You may recall that in my last blog I touched upon what I believe to be the basic elements that I need to incorporate and achieve on the Commons – aesthetic beauty, safety for visitors, historical and social context and finally wildlife value and biodiversity. Aesthetic beauty weaves into almost everything on the Commons, but in view of historical and social context, I am continuously amazed by how incredibly beautiful the Commons are, and I have been so enthralled to learn about their different uses through time, from Georgian horse racing, the impact of WW2, cricket on both Commons, quarrying at Bulls Hollow, and of course the vistas from Mount Ephraim and Happy Valley. It is my intention to develop projects and plans that incorporate our history and provide sensitive vistas and ‘windows’ into those past and currently lost scenes.
If you have childhood memories of areas of the Commons that seem to have undergone significant change, or perhaps a bundle of postcards or historical images we’d really love you to get in touch too, to ensure that our history is reflected in our Commons today and in the future.