Monthly Archives: October 2014

Forest Fields : new supermarket, or new green space?

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.

Common Mallow

Here’s a fine close-up of the flower of Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris) :

mallow lr

It was taken by regular contributor Nic Cairns on St.Ann’s Community Orchard, where it has grown on part of the site which was cleared in July for construction of a new strawbale building.  The plant is a good coloniser of disturbed ground, and is doing well on the Orchard site, which will be developed as a new (hopefully biodiverse) garden when the building is finished.

Common Mallow is edible, and foragers may be interested in these recipes.  Thanks for Nic for the photo.

Hairy Shield-bug

I like Shield-bugs, and have featured them before.  Here’s another – the Hairy Shield Bug (Dolycoris baccarum), also known as the Sloe Shield-Bug, photographed on the Community Orchard at St.Ann’s Allotments:


Despite the name, it is not particularly associated with Sloe trees.  Quite a handsome little beastie!

Urban Safari report…..

Thanks to Martin of the Wildlife Trust’s Nottingham City group, who sent in the following report of the “Urban Safari” they held on the 27th of September……

Urban safari 2014-page1

It sounds like a very good event, and I look forward to hearing more about the activities of the group…..