Prebend Gardens

SUMMER 2022 EVENTS

Plans are well under way to hold a series of events in Prebend Gardens on the third Saturday of each month between May and September, weather permitting.  The first event will take place on Saturday 21 May 2022 from 11.30am.

PREBEND GARDENS POSTER 1

GARDENS ARE NOW OPEN

Prebend Gardens were officially reopened on Saturday 12 March 2022 after long awaited landscaping work was completed.

SPECIAL MEETING

A special meeting was held at the African Caribbean Centre, Leicester, on 18 January 2022 to discuss future events in Prebend Gardens.

Present: Guy Simmons, Andrew Thirlby, Roo Peake, Kate Sullivan, Alan Fox, Julie Byron, Jane Russell, Hilary Browne, Dilip Chauhan, Susan Boullin and Neil Evans.

Chair: Roo Peake

Outline plans were made to use money from the People’s Health Fund to organise or promote a series of events at the restyled Prebend Gardens to encourage their use by the community.

Attention was paid to a series of ‘nature watch’ events, perhaps having one for each season of the year. These could involve families and schools. Advice will be taken from Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust with other groups to be involved if they are willing to help.

Andrew outlined an idea he had for a ‘treasure hunt’ starting and finishing at Prebend Gardens. This would involve a quiz with photographs and leaflets and could run across a week or last several months.

It was suggested that some events could dovetail with annual festivals such as Black History Month, Everybody’s Reading and Heritage Open Days.

Roo and Neil are due to meet Councillor Kirk Master on 24 January 2022 to discuss what type of events are allowed in the park. They agreed to ask if a notice board can be reinstated at Prebend Gardens.

Andrew reminded the meeting that SHN was a member of the Keep Britain Tidy movement and our litter-picking efforts could be reported to them.

Roo will look at the possibility of providing first-aid courses for those interested.

It was agreed to spend a portion of each month’s regular meetings to report on progress made on planning events.

Meeting ended at 20:05.

Work Completed

posted 25 January 2022 by admin.

The improvement works to Prebend Gardens have now been completed and will be open to the public as soon as the newly planted trees and shrubs have become established.

Watch this space for re-opening date!

Update

posted 23 May 2021 by admin.

The council has now commenced the improvement works which have been long promised and expect to have it all completed by mid July.

At the moment the grass mound at the Prebend Street entrance has been levelled and the contractors are currently excavating prior to the construction of the paved seating/performance space. They have also drained the old pond and will shortly start the construction of the new pond.

Perhaps someone in authority read and acted on the last posting about this!

Spring has Arrived

posted 01 March 2021 by admin.

crocus

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.

snowdrops - galanthus

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Urban Wildlife

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.

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The Gardens Gallery 01

Click images to enlarge

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Introduction

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.

Prebend Gardens (Leicester Mercury) IMG_1116‘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 southhighfieldsneighbours@gmail.com and we will then give you more details.