Monday, 29 December 2014
Monday, 15 December 2014
Penkhull Wassail 2015
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Charles Tomlinson reads "The Allotment"
Friday, 14 November 2014
Lights on the Hill
Friday, 24 October 2014
Re-wilding: can the "fence and forget" strategy be subtly improved on?
But there is said to be 170 hectares of brownfield land in Stoke, with only 90 of that being judged to be future 'employment land' which (before the recession) was being used only at about 20 hectares per year (figures from the Local Development Framework, 2006). So let's say the city has a solid 80 hectares (nearly 200 acres) left of non-employment brownfield. Let's then, rather ambitiously, hope that by 2020 a generous 10 hectares (24 acres) of that will get taken for new housing.
So that leaves 70 hectares (172 acres) of non-employment and non-housing land.
Let's then very cautiously say that only half that 70 hectares is currently open and being naturally re-seeded and re-colonized by nature. So: potential space for 86 acres of new regenerated woodland in the city, even without actually having to dig out concrete surfaces or demolish and clear ruins to allow nature the freedom to grow.
The Woodland Trust Space for People report suggested that 157 hectares (387 acres) of new planting would be needed in Stoke-on-Trent, for every citizen to have urban woodland within 500 yards of their home. That's obviously an extreme eco-worrier position to take. But even if the political will were there, there obviously isn't that amount of space available.
Perhaps the current de facto "fence and forget" strategy is actually the best one for re-wilding the city. But... I wonder if a set of small additional nudges might help nature along in those spaces. Such as the installation of 'wildlife entrances', big enough for a mammal but nothing else, allowing wildlife access into fenced sites. The out-of-sight siting of small ponds in the centre of sites, and alongside each pond a few new oak saplings. Perhaps also some semi-turfed mounds of old tyres, to provide winter shelter. It wouldn't cost that much, could usefully absorb the labours of some unemployed youth and ex-squaddies, and could hasten the greening of the city over the next 20 years.
an artist's proposal for this space.
Friday, 20 June 2014
Second Look Stoke
Monday, 17 March 2014
Wild Harvest Stoke
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
The Greening of the Potteries
"Staffordshire Film Archive screening, 'THE GREENING OF THE POTTERIES: a reclamation special'. With newly digitised colour films taken by Percy Dyer (Head of Parks) in the 1960s and 1970s - charting the before, action and after on the City's main reclamation sites, turning Smoky Old Stoke into the greenest city in the UK."
Friday, 28 February 2014
And that was that...
I do have to say that I won't miss the bill for the annual rent, nor the cost of the manure/fertiliser, the seed potatoes, the other seeds and plants, etc. All of which I reckon added up to more than the value of the crops I took off the plot, over the 15 months that I worked it.
But overall it was a good and useful experience. There are some grand fellows on the site who I was glad to make the acquaintance of, especially Gareth. If I ever take another plot or garden, as I may in some distant future years, then I'll be a lot more prepared and informed.
I may continue to post here on this blog, from time to time, about wildlife / allotment / footpath / litter / environment matters in Stoke.