Sunday, 29 March 2015

It was the wettest of times

Seed sowers -Kepler Street Plot

It was the wettest of times, but like Hen Harrier day it was also one of the best of times... Not a bad turn out considering the downpour, but then it was for a grand, worthy cause, wildflowers for Everton and nature.

Last year the Landlife National Wildflower Centre, Manchester City Council and the Friends of Everton Park entered the Grow Wild England Landmark Project. The project was named.’ A Tale of Two Cities’ and they won.

Grow Wild is creating four high profile flagship sites, one in each UK country.  Tale of Two Cities won the public vote in England in November 2014

The vision is to deliver a unique cultural landmark project in the northwest of England to:
-       redefine wildflower best practice
-       turn people’s heads and hearts
-       inspire new Grow Wild communities

The plan was to sow bold landscapes in both Liverpool and Manchester on a grand scale – about 10 hectares (equivalent to 20 football pitches!), and into the spaces between where we can.  Uniting the people and communities in both cities to experience, celebrate and create Grow Wild adventures. Igniting a new generation of wildflower lovers - especially aiming to involve local children.
A Tale of Two Cities won £120,000 to achieve this. Liverpool and Manchester will be forging new pathways between environment and culture, using music and arts practice, to bring the beauty of wildflowers to people in intriguing and imaginative ways. Our project will run until 2017.

I don’t work too far from Everton Park and enjoy dinnertime strolls there in the summer. I’d seen areas of white lines being marked out the week before, so when I read Damien Young’s tweet (Young4Damian) about the seed sowing event. I thought I’d mosey along.

Three areas of the park have been  marked out for wildflower sowing,  roughly large rectangles on the  slopes overlooking the city.(Great view of the city, river and out New Brighton and beyond by the way) Each plot representing an old Everton street, long demolished and now buried under the park. Kepler, Sampson and Druid Street.  
Kepler and Sampson street plots
Druid Street Plot

Keeping in faith with the ethos of links to the environment, culture, music and arts different organisations and individuals were invited to observe and join in with the seed scattering.
Richard Scott, Landlife’s Senior Project Manager led the event, Damian from the wildflower centre brought the seed and distributed it to the scatterers.  The chosen wildflowers were Poppy, Chamomile and Cornflowers -   red, white and blue!  
Richard Scott
Ken Rogers attended the event, author of the book ‘The Lost Tribe of Everton’’ thus linking  history and cultures of the area from past times.
John doing his reading,  Ken to left 

The friends of Everton Park & Everton in the community were well represented Foe’s John Hutchinson gave a spirited reading from Charles Dickens’s   a tale of two cities
     It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….

We even had a musical accompaniment to the morning activities with Accordion player Helen Maher. Maybe we should have sung ‘we plough the field and scatter’, instead we attempted streets of Everton (Streets of London Ralph Mctell) mmh

Better - Listen to Helen and Ian sing the war cry - Flowers to the people - Vote for A Tale of Two Cities

This video was made during the Launch event for our Tale of Two Cities Grow Wild England Flagship bid to win 120K.
Helen provides the music for Silky Skills

Well it is Liverpool so we also had a little bit of football,  in the form of - Richard Braithwaite (silky skills) showing us some of his magical  freestyle football skills  

So there you have it, in a couple of month’s the slopes will be in bloom.

I’ll be following their development with interest, besides it will get me out the office for a couple of hrs, and it's good for your mind and waistline!

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