So after my car park encounter i went into Brungerley Park and Cross Hill Quarry and did an hour or so of grass raking with volunteers form the wildlife trust. I knew i would be using my had, so left my camera in the car, which i regret. Geeer!!!
These volunteers do really important work to maintain the nature reserve and encourage the development of diverse ecosystems. Alos really nice people!
After this Amy kindly took me one a tour of the nature reserve, the sculpture trail and to the park. She told me about her great idea to do dog portraits as an engagement activity to get people to talk to her about the park. As we walked about she also told me about an idea that she had had to possibly made drawings that illustrate the hidden or unknown histories. I thought that this was a great idea and told her about the histories in Marsden Park and the prevalence of the industrial history in Burn Valley Forest Park.
This got us onto a discussion as to weather or not these histories were too obvious or i/ we were looking for things that tell a story and therefore looking for connections. I thought about it then remembered what Lee, form Park services had said to me when i asked him if he was unusual because of his interest and level of passion about the history of Marsden park. To which he had replied the the parks (not a perfect quote) “are our heritage. Our living heritage. Now adays the shops are all moving out of towns to shopping centres and superstores and this is killing out towns. The parks are ours. They tell our history, but their alive. And its not just the histories of the rich. The parks are also full of stories of the everyman. The stone maison is more interesting to me than the land owner who paid for the work. This is one of the only places where people can be in touch with these histories in a living and normal context.
I thought this was really poignant at the time, but this conversation with Amy brought it back into focus with force.