Lovely, rather sinister photo of the Bleak Heath by Flickr user Lemon Te. Used by permission.
Filed under art, blackheath
Tagged as art, birds, blackheath, blackheath blog, bleak, bleak heath, crows, landscape, photo, photos
That’s great, we are lucky to live near the heath with its beautiful sunsets and open sky. It’s quite uplifting, although I haven’t yet been tempted into All Saints like the lady below (apart from utilising the handy car parking facilities..)
Keep meaning to observe the sky over the heath in an astronomical way after taking the kids to the Planetarium shows. They are great fun and the shop sells interesting knicknacks. The dried astronaut food is a bit yucky though, best avoided in favour of some real fodder in the cafe.
I can see the edge of the heath from my study window – nicely eerie on a chilly, misty night when you are safely indoors… Brrrr
I think the hands-on exhibits next to the observatory are really well designed… Where else can you demonstrate gravitational lensing to ten year olds?! I recently bought a planetarium application for my phone (called Star Walk). I’m just waiting for a clear night to try it out! Given that we have two Blue Plaques in Blackheath with Lunar craters named after their owners, I think it is every Blackheathens duty to look up!
The picture may be lovely: the reality is not. They are gulls which, this time of year, dominate the heath. The rest of the time crows, starlings and pigeons are in charge.
See the problem yet? None is a song bird. The only sounds are roaring traffic, screeches, coos and caws.
The heath is a revelation to visitors, who assume this is a nature haven. It is the opposite: an unnatural wilderness created by mowing and clearing gorse and heather heath into a a flat, boring green desert.
If the bureaucrats had an ounce of imagination they would leave patches of natural vegetation to allow bushes and scrub to develop – perhaps like at Vanbrugh Pits, or a series of Whitfield Mounts. Bushes attract insects, which attract song birds, which creates something more natural than endless soccer pitches.
Did you know large areas of the heath are SSSIs? It is hard to realise because while there is a policy meant to restrict mowing on some parts, it is far too limited and still too harsh.
Look at the park: not, perhaps, how the heath should be but at least it has a variety of wild life. Don’t get me wrong. The heath adds greatly to the quality of life. But it could be so much more – and at very little cost – with some proper ecological planning.
An interesting point – perhaps someone from the local council will respond.. I can hear quite a few songbirds from my garden (nowhere near the heath) during the spring months, but not many currently…
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