Spring has Arrived
posted 01 March 2021 by admin.
To A Crocus by Bernard Barton (long since deceased).
Welcome, wild harbinger of Spring!
To this small nook of earth,
Feeling and fancy fondly cling
Round thoughts which owe their birth
To thee, and to the humble spot
Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.
To thee – for thy rich golden bloom,
Like heaven’s fair bow on high,
Portends, amid surrounding gloom,
That brighter hours draw nigh,,
When blossoms of more varied dyes
Shall ope their tints to warmer skies.
Spring crocus and snowdrops are currently in bloom in Prebend Gardens, but the council has made it impossible for local residents to sit and admire their beauty due to the lack of park benches. These were removed together with some of the trees by the council in early 2018 and never replaced.
If Sir Peter Soulsby or any of our local councillors are reading this post (wishful thinking, I know) perhaps they would put pressure on the Parks Department to make a start on the improvements to Prebend Gardens which they originally promised would be completed by the end of April 2019.
posted 03 June 2018 by Neil, a friend of Prebend Gardens
Urban wildlife is not just about foxes rummaging through plastic bags, spiders in the bath or snails sliding up front doors. A memory I hold fondly is of growing up in the early 1960s in a relatively small townhouse which had an absurdly long and narrow garden, with an apple and plum tree, soft fruit bushes and a tatty lawn that was actually pretty green, thanks to its abundance of moss. Virtually the whole area was sealed in by an anti-socially high hawthorn hedge. Nothing was particularly productive, but the early morning birdsong was deafening. House sparrows lined virtually every inch of guttering, house martins swooped into the eaves, starlings massed on the lawns to grub up leatherjackets before they turned into ‘daddy longlegs’, and bullfinches stole the raspberries, while blackbirds, robins and wrens nested in the hedge. Nature seemed to thrive in the garden’s benign neglect. I’m glad I paid attention at the time because this wealth of birdlife, as well as the creeping things on the ground, rapidly dwindled as the garden was spruced up.
I moved from the West Midlands to Leicester 25 years ago, living in Highfields for most of that time, and South Highfields for the past 20 years. I have always been delighted at how much wildlife was around for an area so close to the city centre. The windows of my third-floor flat were one evening smothered in green lacewings when I left the light on, swifts would seem to be just a few feet away and the uplifting song of a blackbird and occasional thrush would see the day in and wish it goodnight.
I moved into a house close to Prebend Gardens 10 years ago, and was delighted to see dunnocks, goldfinches, wrens, robins, long-tailed tits and a great spotted woodpecker pay a visit to my tiny backyard. This was on top of the blackbirds, great tits and blue tits. Note the past tense, however, because since so many trees were cut down by noisy chainsaws in April, they are no longer visiting. The blackbirds, blue tits and great tits still come, I’m very happy to say, but it feels a huge loss that the others have gone. There’s no longer the background chatter of crows planning their day ahead (and folk song fans will know they really do convene, even if for solely practical matters, from songs such as Twa Corbies). Not just birds, but the largest of bumble-type bees used to come, too, in more varieties than I ever knew existed. And an equally large variety of moths, a couple of bats and even a frog and toad. They all added a welcome background thrum, adding to the noise of the wind in the trees themselves.
I’ve been told that there were no birds nesting in the trees. Nevertheless, the trees would have been a good source of materials as well as food. The number of stones I found in my yard from the cherry tree alone would endorse this fact. If I miss the birds, I’m sure others do too. There is no chance of putting the trees back, but I hope whatever takes their place can add to the vibrancy, colour and interest to this lovely little corner of the city. Nature often needs a helping hand, but it can so easily be driven away.
The Gardens Gallery 01
Click images to enlarge
Leicester City Council is keen to have us form a ‘Friends of Prebend Gardens’ group and we at South Highfields Neighbours are currently looking for volunteers to join us.
‘Friends of’ groups are independent community groups who work with the council to improve or promote their local parks, woodlands, nature areas and other public places.
The groups care about their environment and want to have a say in how it’s looked after. They are independent of the council, which gives them the freedom to carry out projects in their parks. Most of the parks within the city have very effective ‘Friends’ groups.
If you are interested in in joining our new ‘Friends of Prebend Gardens’ group please contact us at email@example.com and we will then give you more details.