At times when the rest of the UK is "sweltering" a cruel climatic feature spites the life of the north east Sun worshipper. The heat which elsewhere drives up the sales of ice creams and easy chairs, with us combines with a cold sea current and accompanying cold air to give a cold damp overcast which the beaming sun cannot penetrate. It is possible by driving west, away from the coast, to slide out from underneath this eiderdown of dampness; but otherwise one just endures it and hopes for a change of wind direction.
Another cold wind is blowing over Battlefield and I fear for the trees and the birds and other creatures. Years ago I noticed a sudden and welcome increase in Song Thrushes on Battlefield, itself well suited to their needs. These birds had something of a decline in numbers throughout the UK in recent years and there were fears for their future as one of our emblematic song birds, beloved of gardeners and allotment holders for their snail and slug devouring diet. I counted four together beside the foot and cycle path. A week later the Council chopped down all the nearby shrubs and I have not seen nor heard a Song Thrush there since. Newcastle City Council has however, together with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, issued a leaflet on the Song Thrush which urges those interested to write in and identitfy places where this lovely song bird can be found. I thought about sending in my comments but what would be the point? One senses people 'going through the motions'.
I have written to a local City Councillor about the current threat to "forbidding" Battlefield and City Stadium from proposals linked to the building of 2000 student 'flats' on the former paint factory site. If I get a response I will write further. Perhaps, I will learn how Metnor Group plc, the developers of the paint factory site come to propose alterations for a piece of open space they do not, as far as I know, own.
Meanwhile here are some recent images of the sky over Battlefield and blossom in the gloom.