A Park for the People (who don't like grass)


Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Monday 21st May, 2007

Canada gooseparkIT’S GOOD TO have the chance to combine a book delivery (Walks around Newmillerdam has turned into a local bestseller) with a picnic in the park.
The artfully planted groups of mature trees are freshly green so Thornes, Clarence and Holmfield Parks, which run together to give Wakefield a great green space adjacent to the city centre, appear more rolling and spacious than they are in reality.

Can they beam down a state of the art rugby stadium and its attendant car parks and facilities into this Georgian/Victorian parkland and still retain that sense of getting away from it all, so near to the heart of the city?

Thornes ParksquirrelParks have long been associated with sports and in addition to several football pitches there’s an enormous sports shed that doesn’t enhance the historic landscape at all. Sadly, in the drive to be all inclusive in offering sports facilities there’s a new technology being used to convert a small portion of these grassy acres into a skateboard park; a special variety of noise-reducing spray-on concrete will bring the park in line with the tastes of the 21st century.

Grass is so old-fashioned. But I like it.

My booklet Thornes Park is available online at www.willowisland.co.uk (£2.95 plus postage)