- Highfields Park
w/e 21 May 2006
this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Some tantalising glimpses of brightly coloured rhododendrons
as we drove along University Boulevard at Nottingham one evening
were enough to persuade us to return the following day to capture
these images. The park is overlooked by the Trent Building (top
left) which was the original home of the University when it moved
to the site in 1928. Some of the rhododendrons were in full flower
at the side of the lake (bottom left) while others (right) still
had to open to their full glory.
The area was purchased in the early 1920s by Sir Jesse Boot who
later became Lord Trent. It was developed first as the East Midlands
University and later included a public park which became Highfields
for 'public enjoyment and to provide a dramatic visual setting
for the University'. The lake was enlarged and an ornamental
park created that still survives more or less unchanged today
with an abundance of colourful plants.
was to photograph the rhododendrons but there is so much more
to be seen in the park that we were somewhat distracted. A heron
untroubled by human presence stood statue-like on a fence surrounding
an overflow outlet from the lake whilst just a few feet away
a coot sat on a nest with two youngsters under her wings. A little
further away a cluster of ducklings nestled with the daisies
on the grassy bank of the lake with their parents nearby keeping
a watchful eye. We decided to follow the 1.25 mile 'Lakeside
Walk' which joins Highfields Park with the University Park and
circumnavigate the lake.
The circular walk was impossible for many years for a variety
of reasons but recent landscaping has made it accessible passing
through woodland areas, grassy glades and formal parkland. A
partnership between the City Council and the University enabled
the Lakeside Walk to be formally opened by The Lord Mayor of
Nottingham on January 20 2002. Wildlife abounds all around the
lake. As well as the birds mentioned above, there were also a
pair of swans awaiting the arrival of their new family in the
nest at one end of the lake - we even saw a water rat near here
but it scuttled away as soon as I pointed the camera at it!
The squirrels were a lot more cooperative though. I wouldn't
say they were tame but they were not perturbed by our presence.
At one point there were four or five of them flitting about around
my feet. although they look the same, those pictured above are
three different animals.
The path on the northern side of the lake is more undulating
than its southern counterpart and passes beneath some sandstone
cliffs. These cliffs contain caves but it is not known whether
they are natural or manmade. The path also crosses the formal
stone terrace in front of the Trent Building where once again
at this time of year, the beautiful colours of those rhododendrons
that we came to see can once again be enjoyed.