I took Frank, the German Shepherd, for a walk into town this afternoon. We live a couple of miles outside a fairly bog-standard small Scottish town; it used to be an industrial port but nowadays just has a couple of small ship terminals and not much else. It has a reputation for being a “sh*thole;” sure, the pubs aren’t great, but whenever I walk in, I’m always impressed by the fact that clearly, people love this little place.
There always seems to be someone tending the beautiful flowerbeds, which greet you at the entrance and cheerful flower baskets hang from every railing and shop front. Despite the fact that it’s highly unlikely any tourists come here, there’s half a dozen tourist information boards proudly displaying the history of the town. There’s very little grafitti, and the high street is always full of people chatting and sitting.
This evening, me and Frank enjoyed having a look at a small park that’s been transformed – you know the type, about half an acre of sloping scruffy grass with a tree and dog poo on it, and never really used – into a wildflower meadow. It was beautiful! Such a better use of the space than before, looks gorgeous and, brilliantly, a huge boost to the local wildlife.
The intitaitve is by the Council, called Wildfife, turning public spaces, parks and road verges into species-rich wildflower meadows. What a fantastic idea and I really hope it’s maintained for years to come.
I was telling my housemate about the flowers, and she said that she’d been to see them too, and got chatting to an older lady. She told her that the small, grassy park was originally put aside to graze the cattle coming into town for market, and that’s why it never got built upon.