Friday 25 September 2015

Friday 18 September 2015

An oral history of greening Stoke, 1966-2016

"It were all waste heaps and poison canals round 'ere, when I were a lass, and now it's green meadows, ponds, little woods and bicycle paths...".

An idea for a radio documentary I'd like to see made by someone: suggested title of "Bloomin' Stoke!" — a feature-length grassroots oral history on the greening of the city over the 50 years from 1966 to 2016. It would recount the struggle to green the city's landscape and bring back wildlife, and be told by the recollections of ordinary people and grassroots conservationists rather than archival TV footage from the mainstream media. Ideally it would have no eco-propagandist skew or local political gloss, and would be simply a straightforward history documentary.

What got me idly musing on the topic was hearing about the death of Derek Bolton (who saved Berryhill Fields for nature), and seeing Mike Herbert (the amazing Shelton steelworks / Festival Park reclamation in the 1980s - he's got to be retiring soon) on the cover of the latest Chamber of Commerce magazine. It seems to me that there's mostly still a generation of people around to be interviewed on the topic of how Stoke was made one of the greenest cities in the UK.

Take the idea and run with it, if you like it.

Thursday 17 September 2015

The Last Hedgehog in Staffordshire?

"‘The Last Hedgehog in Staffordshire?’ campaign will see Staffordshire Wildlife Trust offering tips and advice on how people across Staffordshire can help hedgehogs by making a few changes in their gardens."