update on chalking

Thank you for your supportive comments about my chalking flower names on pavements. A few times people have seen me as I have been chalking names on Newmarket Road. I’ve asked them what they think. They’ve told me ‘its a good idea’, ‘makes the walk more interesting’, ‘children like it’. This is exactly what I had hoped for.

So I was really disappointed to see that yet again Newmarket Road verges have been cut. The verges look very neat and tidy – I think gradually, imperceptibly, we have become trained to think uniform short cut green is the ideal. Not so long ago we did not have the tools or money to have all this neatness. But this verge – and all the others that have been cut again like this – are ‘dead’. Yet again there are no golden buttercups, or other flowers; bees and butterflies have no food sources, as we walk we have no colours or humming music to lift our spirits; nothing to encourage children to get outside and see what they can see.

In lockdown we are walking more often, and more locally. There is also increasing debate about how we want our world to be post-lockdown. The value of nature around us has become more obvious.

We have choices to make about our world. These choices really matter: For ourselves and for the other ‘life’ that we share this world with. Tina’s windows, a joy as ever, are full of creatures, hedgehogs, bees. Do we want our children only to have these stuffed or crafted versions, as delightful as they are? Or do we want them to see them as they walk round our village – in time, hopefully, on the way to school. Hopefully, in all that word’s meaning.

Pound Hill buttercups

I was delighted to be told there may be a re-think next year about leaving the buttercups to flower on Pound Hill. To let the buttercups flower, will, I think, require a shift in our thinking, to once again enjoying the wavy edges, the longer grass, to recognise again the beauty in the gold of nature. I’d love to know what you think. Scroll to the bottom to the comments box and let me know…

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