Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Well it's been a while since my last post! This is more because of little to report on the planning application than disinterest or lack of activity in other areas. In August the council cut the hedge back for the first time in two years. Although it was nice to see the abundant growth of the hawthorn, eventually the hedge would loose definition - so cutting back is better for the hedge in the long run. The cut will help it thicken up.
The crab apple was loaded this year - a damp but mild spring helped the blossom (see pics below) - the fact that it held so much fruit is a sign that there must have been a lot of pollinating insects doing their job despite the rain.
There have been a couple of article in the local press recently about our campaign. As a result I have been in touch with a few interested parties. The National Playing Fields Association have written to the Council in support, and also the Sports Council of Wales have been informed. Some residents who lived in houses that backed on to the field have e-mailed me some information about their personal recollections of using the field more than 40 years ago.Here are some memories from Mary Hayman :
The Hayman family at Pentyla Playing Field early 1960s
Andrew Hayman adds:
I used to play a lot of cricket in the field with friends from Gors school like the Terry, the Carters, Rober Watkins. Sometimes groups of older boys would play and let us younger ones join in. We werent supposed to play on the well-mown parts like the football pitch and the caretaker would send us off from time to time. Widlife- I can remember catching grasshoppers in jam jars in the long grass. There was a hedge on the left at the top half of the street (and on the right, backing onto the houses in Townhill Rd.) What else? The Pentyla road Guy Fawkes bonfire, walking across the field to go to school, squeezing throught the hole in the gate along Lon Coed Bran. Playing in the snow and rolling enormous balls of snow.
These words show us how important the field had been to families over many years - 45 years after the photographs above were taken, my own children play football and fly kites there, they find ants nests, hedgehogs and strange spiders in the rough-grassed edges. We need to preserve this for the next generations.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
So who will the council believe? The authentic voices of people who lived here half a century ago and their own publication which extolls the hedge's historic significance? Or one report by so called experts who say the hedge is less than 20 years old?
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
The council say that housing plans only take in part of the field - and then what? Stop?
A few years ago the council did a survey which said that the field should not be built on because of access problems and because a dangerous precedent would be set in relation to building on green spaces. This shows that there are sensible people at county hall.
Last year Derwen Fawr residents were successful in having plans for houses at Bishop's Grove rejected - lets hope Townhill gets the same result.
Last week it poured down. When you walk on the grass after it has rained, you can hear the water bubbling underfoot. Almost like walking on a sponge. How much ground water does the field absorb? The runoff from the old car park area causes a river down Pentyla Road - imagine how it would be if they built here! There was a programme last night about flooding - it mentioned that surface water flooding is caused by building on green areas that otherwise act like a natural sponge. Perhaps it is the old peaty subsoil from the ancient bracken that makes the field good at holding rainwater.
The sparrows are going crazy at the moment because of a lot of magpies in the area - they must be protecting their nests - I saw one harassing two magpies on its own - and winning.
Perhaps us resident sparrows should adopt this approach to the magpies of the estates' department...
The blackbirds are back and forth feeding their young - you can hear them almost screeching for food. The adults are careful that no magpies are around when they go to the nest - they perch in the crab apple until they are sure they are not being watched before diving into the hedge.
Please feel free to post any comments or thoughts you may have about this blog - thanks!
Monday, 19 May 2008
(Picture taken with permission of parents of those children who appear in it)
Monday, 12 May 2008
Single Red Kite over field yesterday - was mobbed by a herring gull so didn't stay long.
Along the hedge the flock of sparrows are really active - they are up and down all day.
I noticed they now have young with them - although they appear to be larger than the adults.
The youngsters follow the adults along the hedge line or verge. When they want food they lower their wings and are promptly fed.
The female blackbird is also busy back and forth her nest - she perches on the wire fence above the hedge and seems to check no-one is looking before she darts into her young. I have seen her take beaks' full of worms. The male blackbird also helps occasionally - but with bread crusts.
The Mayflower is starting to come into bloom as the Crab Apple blossom drops. The council have not cut the hedge back for at least two years - which means that the blossom will be profuse again this year - but I'm not sure that not being cut regularly is good for the hedge in the long run.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
crab apple) - and let you know how the planners are proceeding.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!