A little over a year ago, Liverpool hosted a lively and well-attended public meeting around the city’s impending bid to become Europe’s Green Capital.
Liverpool can really achieve this title. Time and time again, the Champions have sung the praises of our green spaces and beautiful city environment, from parkland to countryside to beach and riverside, landscapes of both local and national importance.
Since Bristol has just been awarded the ‘Green Capital’ status for 2015, Liverpool has not gone forward yet in an attempt to ‘go for the next one’.
But, Liverpool needs to come back to the big question of- How can Liverpool’s leaders, institutions and communities work together to ensure that our city develops in a truly sustainable way- ensuring that future generations and the environment will work in harmony towards this goal?
If you want to listen, contribute, learn and be apart of something big in the future that will give Liverpool the status of Europe’s Green Capital….and we have the potential to do it! Then join BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips who will chair the event; Malcom Biggs Chair of the awarded Bristol Green Partnership, Councillor Kennedy, Cabinet member for Regeneration and transport, Liverpool City Council, along with representatives of the Mersey Forest, Trade Unions, and a host of Health and community Groups across Merseyside.
I see, garden competitions, children’s art competitions, ‘Bootle in Bloom’, hanging baskets in abundance on every street corner, artistic giant scarecrows at the end of the motorway into Liverpool proclaiming our prize Award; our ring road a beacon of floral tributes, with roundabouts adorned in a riot of colour, colourful floral banners draped along our major thoroughfares, posters hanging on street lighting.
I see, spectacular festivals reviving traditional crafts of garland weaving, basket weaving, herb gardens, thatch work, and bee keeping; Speke Hall, Croxteth Hall, Sudley etc all gateways of garden excellence on show with Victorian bandstands open, music at Otterspool, Allerton, Woolton, Princes, Wavertree and Sefton Parks with ‘Larks in the Parks’ returning to add to the already growing grand pleasures of recreation and leisure for all in our parks.
As a participant in the Liverpool Garden Festival, I feel, just as I did then in the initial planning stage.
This will be a big one……. one fine day.
If you want Liverpool to be the next European Green Capital, and lets face it, we do have such beautiful green spaces, then join the meeting and get your voice heard or simply watch and be there as an observer, in what might be Liverpool’s next BIG EVENT!
Everything starts somewhere and from little seeds great oaks are born.
Meeting: Tuesday 11th March, 6.30-9pm
Friends Meeting House, School Lane.
A special night of Eastern European food and culture will take place at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Sennheiser Studio, courtesy of my good friend Dr Nick Owen of Aspire Trust.
In times when there is a lot of anxiety in the press about people from Eastern Europe coming to the UK, Aspire are proud to innovate this cultural project which will introduce people of Merseyside to the culture and good food of the regions.
Great things are happening with the Trust who have supported East European enterprises on the Wirral and now arrive nearer to home here at LIPA, were Tasty’s Restaurant will put on a spread of food supported by tantalizing mystical music.
The evening will encompass a speciality designed menu such as chicken soup with noodles from Serbia, goulash originating from Hungary, wholemeal ginger cake (miodownik) from Poland and delicious food delicacies from partners in Russia, Croatia and Montenegro.
The specially-themed Balkan menu will include dishes from across the region such as Montenegrin buckwheat and mushroom soup, Romanian style stuffed eggs, Bulgarian Imambayalda (Babaganoush, stuffed aubergine) and a selection of delicious Polish cakes and tarts.
The You-Go-Slavia event will also feature a storytelling performance – Vila’s Mountain, produced and performed by Jelena Curcic- based on Serbian fairy tales.
Jelena is a professional who certainly knows how to tell a story, using all her theatrical skills to charm an audience with her emotive empathy on words.
This is a must for all those with an interest in food and culture, to give the evening a go and experience the delights of good food, good company and a cracking good story from a mesmerising actor.
Checkout Jelena on Youtube and listen to one of her tales and then book yourself on a night of enchantment at the Sennheiser studio.
Be entertained by the Romanian Gypsy Band and Modjano Pajovic Crowder in an exciting evening with a difference.
Tickets for Thursday February 27th 8pm, are priced at £15 (£10 concs) 07742271570 Subject to availability, they can also be bought on the door.
Thinking of something unusual to do for the last few days of the holiday break?
Yes, our famous Safari park has just taken in a pair of Iberian wolves, 30kg and growing to 1.5 metres tall by the time they reach maturity. Big doggy!!!
Eveline de Wolf, head of animal management at Knowsley Safari tells me that “Iberian wolves are known for their fierce nature and highly adaptable lifestyle. We are hoping to foster a breeding pack in the park just like in the wild”.
The Iberian wolf (canis lupus signatus) is a subspecies of the grey wolf.
Indigenous to northern Portugal and northwest Spain, these magnificent creatures have colourful transforming thick fur.
Currently, if you visit the park in the next few days; they are a dark reddish brown for the cold winter months, changing to a grey with white facial markings and dark marks on their tail and legs in preparation for the warmer spring months. (signatus in the Latin name meaning “marked”).
In the wild, the two wolf sisters named Maria and Morena would feast on deer and wild boar, a diet that keepers will replicate at the Park.
In Spain, the wolf lives in small packs and is considered beneficial in keeping the wild boars in check. During a hiking trip a few years ago I spotted some in the Sierra de la Culebra hills and kept the cabin door well locked that night! Fierce tendencies!!!! the noise all night was enough.
Since then, I have seen them in the mountain region of the Basque Country of Spain and kept my distance.
Here in Spain, they are hunted, but in Portugal the hunting of the wolf is banned.
If you want to see them in the wild then an Easyjet from Liverpool John Lennon airport would fly you quickly to the Santander region of Basque and the cost of backpacking to the highlands negligible.
However, if you have some time during half term and don’t want to travel that far, then do make an appointment to visit the two new visitors from Gaia Zoo in Holland.
These are the first wolves to live at the park in its 42 year history, so make a trip and tell your friends you’ve come face to face with a wolf.
Check out the half price half term prices and the Baboon Bus on the number below.
For close encounters…. Tel Knowsley Safari Park 0151 430 9009