Pocket Number 14: Wigmore Valley Park, Luton

Wigmore Park is a 70-acre green oasis on the southeast edge of Luton, bordering Luton Airport. The park was planted on top of a former landfill, giving levels and undulations to its topography.

The park was established in the 1980s and is currently under threat by proposals to expand the airport.

I visited on the Sunday before the hottest two days in the UK’s recorded history. Temperatures topped 40 degrees for the first time and aircraft were grounded due to the runway’s tarmac melting.

The first blackberries had ripened and looked too tempting to resist!

I first passed through a wooded area of sycamore, wild cherry and ash trees and emerged out onto a vast open space of mowed fields fringed by cow parsley and Queen Anne’s Lace. The open area includes space for playing fields, a playground and a skate park.

Behind the fields is a hinterland of bramble bushes, hogweed, woods, seasonal ponds and scrubland where a large variety of wild orchids can be found, although I visited too late in the summer to spot any. I did spot some deer but did not have my camera ready.

A narrow path runs by the Airport’s periphery fence. From it planes can be spotted landing and taking off.

I walked the circumference of the park and circled back to the playground. There I met Mike and his son Gabriel. Gabriel was playing on the slide.

I told Mike about what I was doing and where in Luton I had visited so far.

Mike said he had moved to Luton from London around a year ago and so wasn’t too familiar with Luton yet. He asked me if I enjoy jazz music. I certainly do! He said was told by friends about a great place in Luton where jazz is played and told me to check it out. We looked online and saw it’s called ‘The Bear Club’. I asked Mike if he plays an instrument and he plays a bit of piano.

He didn’t have any object with him so said to put something from the park on the assemblage.

I had already filled up my bag with green pine cones to make mugolio syrup to gift to friends for xmas so I will put one of those cones on the montage.

Pocket Number 15: Shannon at The Bear Club >>

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