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A fabulous find made by Catherine is this webcam in Holland at the Oostvaardersplassen reserve, showing new-born fox cubs and their mum inside the den. There are three cameras, two inside and one outside so there will be plenty to see once the cubs are able to go out and play.

Read some amazing facts about foxes here.

It’s that time again when the busy little rabbits will be running around the park hiding the corks for eagle-eyed children to find.

This will be the 20th egg hunt held in the park! And, amazingly, for some of the rabbits it will also be the 20th year of running around! These Heaton Moor Park rabbits are very fit.

 

The day will take the usual format: –   register from 10:00; look for corks; take three at a time to be exchanged for eggs; go and look for more….. The event will finish when the eggs run out or at 12:00, whichever happens first. There will be refreshments in the pavilion and other attractions.

Money raised on the day will go towards improvements and maintenance of the flower beds.

Another fire

I debated over whether or not to write this post and decided that I should do so, just for the record. I much prefer to write about the lovely things that happen in the park but if that was all I ever mentioned, it would give a false impression. Yes, the park is lovely and there are many people who care about its appearance and volunteer their time to help with this, but there are also people who have little regard for it.

 

fire debris 7.4.14 IMG_20140407_092045

 

This was in the park this morning.  Words fail me!

 

Grape hyacinth

I couldn’t help myself and had to take a photo of the other type of grape hyacinth we have in the park. This is the two-toned variety, Muscari Latifolium, and is just beautiful.

Muscari latifolium  IMG_20140404_085335

I think that these are more of a violet than blue but …….. official descriptions state that they’re blue.

Muscari are excellent all-round flowers and the white variety in particular would be good for a spring wedding – one of the Knitting Friends is growing some of the white ones for her daughter’s wedding later this month.

There’s a lot of information about the different varieties on the plantexpert.com web-site. It appears that they are quite fragrant so next time I’m in the park I’ll be sure to stick my nose in some to check this out.

 

Spring flowers

Walking in the park in the morning sunshine the other day, I reflected on how there is something to please the eye wherever you look, every few metres, around every corner and bend. Spring is here and the flowers are waking up, having a little stretch, peeking out to see what’s happening around them. The early snowdrop and crocus displays are over. Now we have daffodils, narcissus, rainbow primulas, the magnificent magnolia and several other varieties of plants. There’s even a rhododendron sporting a couple of early blooms.

Near the pavilion, within spitting distance, (don’t take that as an invitation!) there is a beautiful red cherry blossom; or is it a plum blossom? ( I have been reliably informed that it’s neither – it’s a quince!) See comment below for more info.

red blossom IMG_20140326_091103

It’s in a fairly unattractive spot, next to where garden waste is often kept, which makes me wonder whether it was planted there by design or seeded itself. Opposite the blossom there’s a mixed grouping of primulas and daffodils.

pavilion corner IMG_20140326_091126

They too are in an unprepossessing location, at the side of the pavilion, and you might think it’s not worth the bother of planting anything here but it is, because it provides interest and colour. All over the park there are similar patches which instead of being left bare have something attractive for us to look at.

Just a hop and a jump away from the pavilion (you may take this as an invitation!) the bowling green flower beds host a small group of rather lovely, delicate, star-shaped flowers. These are Chionodoxa, commonly known as glory-of-the-snow.

Chionodoxa IMG_20140326_091028

Maybe it would be more appropriate to call them glory-of-the-mud!

This photo is  a bit better: Chionodoxa 2 IMG_20140403_091127

 

Something that can be relied upon to grow and proliferate  is the grape hyacinth, or Muscari, to give it its proper name. And it is found in large quantities all over the park.

grape hyacinth IMG_20140326_091232

The RHS suggests that the grape hyacinth is a good plant for children to grow. If you do have a go with your children, let me know, send a photo, and I’ll put it on here.

 

Fires

There  is further evidence of fire building this morning but this time the location chosen is in the bushes behind the climbing screen, near the ball play area.

fire IMG_20140331_093607

 

I don’t think that the people building this fire were in the Scouts at any time. If they were, they would most certainly have failed their fire-builder’s badge because this is a very poor attempt – although that’s probably just as well!

I have nothing against fires per se but the park is not a suitable place for such activities. The Scouts have some very useful information about fire building on their website: ‘……..being able to prepare, light and maintain different sorts of fires is very important. It is equally important to know how to extinguish a fire and to clear a fireplace correctly.’

The very first sentence in their list of Good Practice pointers is:  ‘Consider whether it is appropriate to light a fire.’

To the person/people doing this:  Please note, it isn’t appropriate to light fires in Heaton Moor Park. Not unless this is done as part of an officially approved event, in which case permission from the council is required and risk assessments etc  need to be completed.

Fortunately, there hasn’t been much damage but there are scorch patches and unsightly debris left at the locations of the recent fire building attempts. If this was to happen during a dry period, it could be a very different story.

If anyone from GMP is reading this – it would be very helpful if the Police could patrol the park more frequently, particularly in the early and late evening.

Originally posted on Avenue Post:

The owl in the park

The owl in the park

This weekend it was a ‘work day’ in our local park – in Heaton Moor. Stockport town council has decided that it cannot afford to spend its increasingly limited budget on park maintenance to the same extent that it has in the past.  So, a handful of volunteers, led  by Peter – a trained horticulturist who was previously paid by Stockport council to do the work, but who now kindly came in, in his own time,  to give assistance, spent a few hours carrying out a spring tidy-up.

In one way the day was a success, we got a lot done. But, it really highlights the fact that there is a distinct lack of local community spirit.  There does seem to be a mentality of “it’s someone else’s responsibility” to do the work.  It is a park that is very well used – as the…

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