I love to take a leisurely stroll down to Clarence Park, enjoying its twenty-five acres of wide-open space. It is quiet here today and there’s a sense of privacy as Summer slowly turns to Autumn. This Victorian park is well kept and it feels calming to get away from the city streets. I walk across the vibrant field of grass; the branches of the huge trees swishing over my head.

As I turn a corner, I see a bed of brilliant daisies in bloom, under the dusty glow of the late summer sun. The trellises stand tall and full with soft peach and pink climbing roses. Further ahead, the bandstand and a granite drinking fountain remind me that this park was built in the 1800s and maintains many of its original features. The clouds move swiftly across the bright sky. I close my eyes and face the summer sun drifting into September. A dragonfly momentarily hovers before me then swiftly flies off lost in the sunlight.

The path winds around the vast lawn. The fresh air cleans and restores. The sun comes and goes, warming the breeze and relaxing my senses with light and warmth; I feel merged with the elements. This park, situated right in the middle of the City and gifted to St Albans in 1894 by Sir John Blundell is a treasure for our community and had been potentially under threat from big city developers in recent years. Losing this park would undoubtedly have been a tragedy and would have disturbed our sense of balance and connection with the local natural environment.

Rich leafy hydrangeas in full bloom are emerging beside the park gates, catching the sunlight and shade, their luminous blue clusters vivid and part of the rich tapestry as the late summer harvest approaches. Squeals of delight can be heard from across the field as the children take to the swings. The park clouds over, a dog barks; a frantic squirrel dashes along the branches of a fir tree. It’s time to head home.