The Secret Garden

There are a number of green areas in the middle of Nottingham (I know this, because I’ve just been Googling them) but probably the most surprising is the green area around the North Zone of the Victoria Centre Car Park. Sorry about the formal tone but there is no street access and if you use the wrong car park all you will see is concret.

The Victoria Centre is built on the site of the Nottingham Victoria Railway station, which was demolished in 1967. The original clock tower is incorporated in the modern building and the railway hptel is still in use. It was built in a deep cutting, as you will see when you descend to the lower levels of the car park.

There were a few birds around I saw two wrens and two female blackbirds, whilst several pigeons flew over and a crow dropped by. The plants are mainly buddleia with some ferns, ivy and brambles. There are some maples in the bottom on one side and some birches growing near the top, where two traffic cones also find a home.

Someone seems to have dosed a lot of the brambles with heavy duty weedkiller, which isn’t going to help the birds when winter comes. It’s a balancing act, I suppose, and there will be limits on cost so if you want to keep it looking like a lawn rather than a bomb site chemical shortcuts will be involved.

In the picture just above this is a view of concrete pillars supporting the bus station. When you know that you start to wonder who thought of the design, and whether they were sober at the time.

Ideally I’d like to see the space full of birds, butterflies, children and people drinking tea (there are no Costas in my daydreams). It would be nice to see fruit and vegerables there too, but seventy years of railway working may well have polluted the soil beyond economic recovery.

The tunnel entrance is to the Mansfield Road tunnel, a 1,189 yard long tunnel that used to run between Carrington Station, sited in what was, at the time, a prosperous suburb. It closed in 1928 due to competition from the trams, though the line itself did not completely close until 1968. If you want a look inside the tunnel, try this site.

Having parked there many times I have been guilty of taking it for granted over the years. It’s an interesting facet of blogging that I’m now looking at things from a fresh viewpoint. Even if that viewpoint is desperation for new material.

36 thoughts on “The Secret Garden

  1. beatingthebounds

    “It’s an interesting facet of blogging that I’m now looking at things from a fresh viewpoint.”
    Couldn’t agree more. I think that’s one of the principal reasons for putting in the time and effort.

  2. jfwknifton

    Nobody will bite the bullet and let these spaces go wild. If they put a sign up to say what is happening, people would support them. The worst was the City Hospital where they killed off Common Blues and three sorts of skipper just to have shaven areas of grass that nobody used anyway.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, the signs are the key, as wild areas seem to upset people for some reason. The City Hospital site could be a great site for nature, with all the other green areas around there.

  3. arlingwoman

    This is strangely otherworldly, as though you could pass from concrete into another dimension, including a garden. The tunnel and the doorway are really juxtaposed with the vegetation. Hello, Middle Earth!

  4. Helen

    Shame about the weedkiller – but one day it may all be different. I wonder if the soil is polluted by the trains? My allotment was right next to a railway line and the soil was fine (I hope).

      1. Helen

        The oil could poison the soil, though. I understand that hydrocarbons make the soil unusable but a test might show there was little or no damage.

      2. Helen

        Not sure if coal would have the same effect as oil. Certainly, small fragments would be okay, I think. Apart from anything else, being a solid form, I would have though poisons like benzene would be less likely to leach out of it.

  5. Lavinia Ross

    There are so many historical places about. Some get incorporated into newer structures. I wonder if any one has tested the soil there at the old railway station?


Leave a Reply