Elizabeth’s Story: Changing Seasons at Ladybarn Park
Image credit: Friends of Ladybarn Park
Local parks have always played a bit of a part in my life but mainly to walk the dog and then to take the kids to – round the corner for us but big outing for them – and then they became less excited by the trip to the local park, no longer a dog to walk and the visits dried up.
Then, lockdown, and it feels like parks, even little local ones came into their own. Green leaves against blue sky – you could be anywhere – at least for a second.
Ladybarn Park, still just round the corner became my go to place for a bit of green and space – stay local – we did. I even picked a tree and photographed it every day on my morning walk to work – the routine that gave the start of my day at least, some structure. I thought it would at least document growth and renewal when it felt like everyday was the same. Depressingly we were back in lockdown when all the leaves dropped off again.
The morning walk was a revelation though, I spotted different birds, heard a variety of birdsong, noticed leaves unfurling and blossom, blossoming and then blowing away. Without the constant hum of traffic the noise of the park was startling.
I also noticed the different stages the park went through – early morning was joggers and dog walkers and when things unlocked a little outdoor boot campers. In the afternoon it was the young people playing tennis, football and basketball. Then as the restrictions eased and fencing came down around the playground, the sounds of “again, again” on the swings. Older men sat in short sleeves with straw hats, chatting with friends – almost Mediterranean. The bowling green was meticulously cut every two weeks for the return of the bowlers. Early evening saw the return of runners and dog walkers and boys on bikes.
I had not realised before this episode how many needs parks met. It has been glorious to see that little park appreciated by the whole community and thanks must go to the Friends of Ladybarn Park for keeping it just so and welcoming to all.
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