The wilderness is alive once more, as the cold, wet familiar slap of British summer returns to Dronfield’s expectant visage. Snails are sluggish, frogs are frumpish and tits are blue, as renewed vigour is breathed back into the hills from winter’s stagnant gullet.
Where better to admire the abundant wildlife than our idyllic nature park? You know the one; in between the industrial estate and main road/railway line, near the pungent water treatment plant. Steeped in the mists of eons past (or it could just be the smog from Callywhite Lane), first man swore to leave the thicket on the southern-most edge of Dronfield to the creatures of the forest. There they would thrive, undeterred by the careless gait of mankind (or clumsy waddle of a 14 year olds necking a bottle of White Lightning away from prying eyes) until such a time came that they learn to co-exist with their human brethren. Then all would rejoice as equals, no midge too small, no spider too “‘orrible an’ all hairy an’ creepy lookin’!” and we shall all feast on berries and nuts.
This time is now upon us and it is with open arms, or mandibles, that we are welcomed back into the woods. Admire the vast flocks of greater spotted carrier bags, who adorn the verdant trees, majestically flapping in the mid-morning breeze. Or perhaps the docile discarded wellington, whose mating call bellows through the brambles to the tune of a long forgotten squelching in the riverbed. Observe how the rust has thrived off the thoughtfully placed washing machine or astoundingly gawk at the silver-skinned crisp packet, who flies south for winter, or north for food, or whichever way the wind happens to be blowing at that precise moment. And who could forget the trees themselves, droves of slightly discoloured sentinels, eternally battling to soak up their own meagre share of the sunlight and spilled coca-cola and second hand oil in place of water, truly survival of the fittest at its finest.
Dronfield Nature Park is definitely the place to be this summer, perhaps go for a picnic, enjoy a spot of cricket or just admire it for all its splendour. Just remember to take your tetanus shots, avoid eye contact with the locals who are frantically trying to bury a suspiciously shaped object wrapped in sheets, and always remember to bring a guide who is trained in survival situations and first aid.
If, however, you don’t share DronfieldDigital’s enthusiasm for the red crested broken-glass-bottle, the long tailed half-a-microwave-oven or even the friendly housebrick-which-hopefully-missed-its-intended-target-years-ago, then perhaps our quaint nature park is not for you. It’s probably better to make like a tree and just stay put until the summer is through.
(We would also like to add that if you happen to come across the last family expedition group, the Websters, please inform the authorities immediately, we’re all very worried. However do NOT approach little Jim, word is he’s gone feral.)
– Contributing author, George Hurt.