Bixteth Street Gardens - How A Tiny Oasis Of Nature Became A Symbol Of All That Is Wrong With Our World
A much loved urban park, bulldozed into oblivion.
Wildlife slaughtered. Trees felled.
A community left devastated.
And a city council that didn't care.
Welcome to Liverpool in 2019.
Imagine a wonderful oasis in the middle of a bustling city. A place where residents and office workers could grab a few moments away from the stresses of the day and enjoy the calm tranquility of a slice of the country in the centre of town. Where they could sit under the mature trees, delight in watching the antics of squirrels and rabbits, birds feeding their young in Spring, bees busily collecting pollen from all the flowers. Where at dusk, if they were lucky, they might catch a glimpse of the local bats, flitting from tree to tree.
Now imagine it gone.
This is the nightmare that happened at Bixteth Street Gardens, a haven for wildlife and nature in the centre of the city of Liverpool, before an utterly callous city council gave the go-ahead to send in the bulldozers and decimate the peoples' favourite inner city park, destroying it completely and forever.
Residents campaigned tirelessly and bravely to save their park from the developers after the council decided that it would replace this precious green space with office blocks and apartments, in spite of the many empty commercial and residential spaces that have become a dubious trademark of the city in recent years.
In the end, the fight to save Bixteth Street Gardens became ever more desperate as locals found themselves locked in a battle with property developers and the Mayor of Liverpool himself, whose apparent disregard for the wishes of the people has left locals deeply shocked, angry and filled with despair, as some of the hundreds of posts on social media reflect...
"I am so so sad about this. We tried, but it seems it was too little too late. Absolutely gutted."
"I cannot bear that this city which I call home is doing this..."
"Hang you're head in shame Liverpool city council"
No doubt karma will catch up with those responsible for allowing this appalling desecration to take place. But nothing will bring back the wildlife and ecosystem that survived and flourished here, against the odds, until the day that it was driven out by the developers. Locals could only watch helplessly as the wildlife fled in terror from the onslaught of the bulldozers.
There was nowhere for it to go.
It just went.
A sad final post on the Save Bixteth Street Gardens Facebook page sums up the defeated mood of the locals who fought so bravely to save their park, "we cannot fight the will of the Mayor or the incumbent council employees, sadly the system is not designed for the people that it purports to serve."
This is 2019. We are more environmentally aware than ever before. We are told to recycle, to stop using plastic, to urgently protect wildlife habitat. We applaud schemes to plant trees and we continue to berate countries that kill endangered species.
But we live in hypocritical times.
Our own government flaunts its phony green credentials while carrying out mass culling of our treasured wildlife. 'Illegal' fox hunting flourishes in the countryside, and a city council destroys a people's park.
Liverpool is a proud and wonderful city.
But what has happened at Bixteth Street Gardens will forever be a stain on its character.
Shame on the council that let this happen.
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