Monday, 31 October 2011

Autumn Gold.

I've lost count of the number of times I have walked around Mote Park over the years.  The first time must have been at least thirty five years ago.  There are 450 acres of open parkland surrounding the lake and every inch of this great outdoors is enjoyed by young and old alike; dog walkers hurl sticks for 'Rover' to chase, small children wobble along pathways on bicycles, families picnic, couples stroll hand in hand, lads kick balls and gaggles of girls giggle on benches, admiring lads.

The lake

As a teenager I would often wile away the hours, gossiping with friends on the grass in summertime and as a student, would avoid tedious economic history lessons by sitting on a bench with my nose buried in a novel, when I should have been in class.  When my own children were growing up, we would tramp around the park in all weathers, feeding ducks, stuffing anorak pockets with acorns and conkers, playing 'Poohsticks' under the old stone bridge and puddle jumping on wet afternoons. 

Of all the seasons to visit, I love Mote Park best in her Autumn golds.  She puts on a wonderfully flamboyant show before Winter steals away her colourful landscape with his frosty chills.

When Stuart and I visited for a breath of fresh air yesterday afternoon, work had been actioned to 'improve' the park.  Muddy pathways had been widened, levelled and tarmacked, lakeside areas stripped clear of unruly foliage and construction of a smart steel bridge was in progress across part of the lake, all in the name of progress. 

I'm sure when we visit again in Spring next year, these upgrades will be ready for the public to use and will look less harsh with the season's new growth to soften the manmade edges. I just pray the planners won't diminish the essence of our natural parkland by over titivating, because I for one love the freedom of muddy, meandering walks around this beautiful park and hope future generations of local townsfolk will continue to enjoy that special sense of freedom too.

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