The view from a window is important. If you work from home and therefore spend many hours sitting at a desk in front of a screen it is even more so and being able to glance up at a pleasing view can make all the difference.
The back bedroom at the top of the house affords a reasonable view over the recreation ground and the entrance to Hogshaw Tip. You can just see the pigeon lofts, converted from wooden sheds or perhaps purpose built in more prosperous times, tucked behind trees or bushes. But trees dominate the view and in the summer I can watch the swifts that nest under the eaves of the houses opposite, dashing about, screaming, and wheeling through the sky before returning to their nests, beaks full of insects to feed their young.
Earlier in the summer I watched adults Great Tits bringing food to a nest box. The box is on a pole overlooking the works depot for one of the town’s roofing companies. The depot is a jumble of materials salvaged from the houses that they work on, and old lean too’s. The nest box, surrounded as it is by bushes and trees is well situated and for the Great Tits there seemed to be a plentiful supply of food. The parents were rarely away from the nest for more than a few minutes.
The scene changes very little throughout the year. The trees lose some leaves, the sky becomes grayer. More often than not there is rain or sometimes snow.
Occasionally one of the neighbourhood cats slinks down the alley way behind the houses, stopping to glance up at the now vacant nest box. When the roofers return, the works collie rushes about to check that everyone is back before settling down in her masters van ready for a day’s work.
The local plan has earmarked much of the land beyond the recreation ground for housing. But a link road has to be built first and the site will take quite a bit of clearing as it was an ex tip. So the housing may not be built and the pigeon lofts and trees remain undisturbed for years to come.