Some buildings were knocked down in Forest Fields earlier this year, in connection with a proposed development for a supermarket with residential flats above and accompanying car park. The plans have long been controversial, with many in the area opposed to them, and the site has not been touched since it was levelled and fenced off.
In the meantime, the site (consisting mostly of brick rubble and churned-up dust and soil) has started to be colonised by a variety of plants, both wild and garden escapes…..
I counted at least 20 different plant species that could be easily identified from the other side of the fence. It made me imagine possibilities for the site beyond what is proposed. I’m not sure that Forest Fields needs more shops, and although new homes are always needed, two good-sized semi-detached houses, in seemingly good condition, were demolished to clear the site (the remainder of the site was an old garage and workshop).
What is very lacking in Forest Fields, despite the rustic-sounding name, is green space. Although the Forest Recreation Ground is nearby, the area itself is characterised by dense terraced housing, with no green open spaces to speak of. Imagine if this cleared site was turned into a small, open park to create green space for both local residents and wildlife….that sounds much better than a supermarket to me.