To celebrate the Soil Association’s Plant-to-Share month, we sat down with our Grow and Connect team to see what green space brings them joy.
For Jo (Green Spaces Programme Manager) it was her amazing, well-kept garden oasis.
“4 years ago, I moved from Moseley to get nearer to the countryside. The moment I saw my house and garden, I knew it was for me. The garden didn’t have much in it at the time, yet I could see so much potential…I’ve spent many, many happy hours transforming it into my happy place, gaining joy as each flower blooms from spring through to summer. Whether gardening or sitting in my stained- glass folly, I feel reconnected to nature. I see shape, colour, texture, and I can hear birdsong and the echo of wind chimes, and for a while the world stops still, and all is well.”
Louise’s (Grow and Connect Co-Ordinator) favourite green space is the allotment site at Moor Green Lane, where she has an amazing allotment full of fresh vegetables and herbs
“We are very lucky to have a pavilion that the committee, have worked tirelessly to maintain and improve during the lockdown and beyond. Our roof blew off, then someone crashed into the men’s toilets!
What has this to do with green space? Well, when I am not working on my allotment directly, I volunteer at the bar in the pavilion, where I meet other like-minded people, and we discuss our growing adventures on our allotments, and how to keep the local wildlife (such as muntjac deer, badgers and pigeons, to name a few) from eating our produce! The pavilion faces west and has a magnificent view over the University and QE hospital, and we have spectacular sunsets! Moor Green allotments are my favourite green space in the city.”
Clare (Inequalities and Green Social Prescribing Lead) little piece of outdoor heaven is the Ekho Wood. A small, forgotten strip of woodland at the far end of a path in Hawbush Community Gardens, a green oasis in a housing estate in the Dudley borough.
“Some friends and I have been developing the space over the last 18 months, from a litter strewn and bramble covered dark wood into something more beautiful, biodiverse and useful for the local community who are in real need of accessible green spaces.
My favourite parts are the willow dome we planted up last winter, the compost toilet (we always enthuse about having a wild wee in the shed!) and the newest addition; a beautiful chestnut roundhouse with a reciprocal roof, built using local timber, by green woodworkers with traditional hand tools and medieval building methods. We can’t wait for it to be completed and to welcome the community to celebrate.”
You can find out more about our woods and community project by following our Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/Ekhocollective
For Noelia (Grow and Connect Co-Ordinator) nature is more than just the space around her it is a part of who she is,
“Understanding myself and increasing my level of consciousness is my purpose in life, being in green spaces, observing nature is me: the smell in the air just before a rainstorm, the sound of the birds, the wind playing with the leaves, the murmur of the stream of a river, the freshness of the grass in my feet when I walk barefoot, the taste of a fresh, juicy wild blackberry, feel how the bark of an oak tree feels against my fingers, natural is magical if you open your eyes.”
Chioma (Grow and Connect Co-Ordinator) loves to be in nature one of her favourite green space in nature that makes her feel relaxed and happy is a local pond. As part of a local gardening group, she has helped rebuild the pond after the old pond lining had punctured.
“The frogs have recently spawned in the pond and tadpoles have hatched 2-3 weeks ago so I enjoy going each week to see how they are getting on. I like seeing how the pond life is developing as nature moves back in. Last week we spotted a newt. So it’s a great spot just to sit, relax and just watch what’s going on.
For Art (Essington Garden my favourite spot) he’s favourite spot is Essington Garden my favourite spot, where he loves to quietly listen to birds chirping and the sound of nature.
‘I take control of my surroundings clearing away a part of the pass trying to forge a new path . I enjoy being able to see nature doing what it does best hoping to capture that moment when I feel alive then I want to do more but I stop and save a little for tomorrow.’
Laura (Grow and Connect Co-Ordinator) love of nature is not so much a place, but the magnificent trees that grow all around us.
“I love Conifers. They are the oldest trees and invoke a sense of deep time.”