When Sir Gawain and the Green Knight wandered through the Wilderness of Wyrale in the 14th century, a squirrel, it is said, could leap from tree to tree, from Blacon Point to Hilbre.
I’m not so sure our acrobatic friends could do that these days. And anyway, I’d probably recommend they take the A540. Less taxing.
But, as our green and pleasant summer issue showcases, there are plenty of spaces where nature still flourishes, 600 years later. Some are huge swathes, some just big enough to swing a squirrel in (with the appropriate paperwork, of course).
As a child, I used to love my mum taking me for a picnic in the woodlands and sandstone outcrops of Thermopylae Pass or ‘the mops’. From this elevated Noctorum ridge, we’d eat our butties on a bench overlooking a canopy of Scots pine, oak and birch that seemed to go on forever.
I returned last week, for the first time in over 40 years. The bench is still there. The view is mostly of new housing estates and roads, and that's fine of course. What green remained definitely needed a little more love.
We can be justifiably chuffed with the role we played – in Birkenhead Park – of bringing the medicinal magic of green spaces to the people.
But, as this issue shows, they need us as much as we need them. We need to play in them and protect them. Plant new life – and new memories in them.
None of us want our woodlands and open spaces to be confined to mythical tales and folklore. So, whether you’re searching for butterflies, swinging a kettlebell or sowing some sweet pea seeds, make this the summer you reconnect with your Left Bank roots.
- David Lloyd, Editor