On Saturday 27th September, Hands on Middlesbrough hosted an apple picking event in the heritage orchards of Nature’s World. Hundreds of apples were picked by Teesside Homeless Action Group and the public, to be used by the charity but some could be kept for apple crumbles, pies and cider!
Children walked around with big smiles on their faces, abandoned playgrounds now overgrown and for the first time since its closure in 2013, children’s laughter could be heard at Nature’s World. Over 50 people turned out to show they care and many more signed a petition to re-open it.
Some had come to visit memorial trees which had been purchased for loved ones, which since the closure they had not been able to access.
It was emotional event and most people wondered how it could have been left with no future plan to re-open it. The main concern for the public is that it will be sold to build more executive homes which very few people can afford. If this was to happen (although no plans have been put forward yet) we would lose one of Middlesbrough’s finest assets.
Instead, we could show how much it means to us and Middlesbrough Council could use it to promote its Beacon Status for tackling climate change, and show that it is dedicated to promoting green issues and sustainable living.
With enough community support, I think we could really turn things around for Nature’s World. It is Middlesbrough’s Secret Garden, people have forgotten about it but if the council could re-open the land once a month (to start with) for volunteers to help maintain it and host children’s events this would give time to figure out how to raise the money to save it. Why just leave it to fall into further disrepair?
The residents of Middlesbrough (and the surrounding boroughs) do not want the risk of it being sold for housing development and so we need to show how much we care and we realise its potential.
Good to see all those beautiful apples going to a good cause, to be given to the homeless in Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland.
Please sign our petition to re-open Nature’s World
Look for our Facebook Page: Love Nature’s World