MUMS, dads, grandparents and everyone with an interest helping our children develop into emotionally and physically healthy adults should head to the Friends of Victoria Park AGM at 7pm on Thursday 15 June in St Thomas Aquinas School.
For this year’s theme focuses on children's wellbeing. Two key speakers on child health and development will provide an insight into their research and the important role parks like Victoria Park and other green spaces can play in helping us raise our children.
Sue Palmer, pictured above, is a former headteacher whose books on literacy and child development include Toxic Childhood, Detoxing Childhood, 21st Century Boys and 21st Century Girls. She is a passionate campaigner who believes less screen time and more time outdoors is critical for child development. “We are in danger of raising a generation of children who have not had the experience they need to make them resilient, socially competent people who are able to assess risks and take decisions. Real play, outdoors wherever possible and involving other children is essential when it comes to raising children.“
Bruce Whyte is the Public Health Programme Manager for the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Bruce’s current work includes the Glasgow Indicators Project which has been exploring health trends in the city's neighbourhoods. This has looked at how children’s health and social outcomes are affected by their access to green space. Parks are also important for encouraging physical activity in children and tackling obesity. Bruce is also a local resident who as one of the Park Runners on Saturdays, appreciates the benefits of having a great park on his doorstep.
Richard East, Chair of the Friends of Victoria Park explains: ‘We are looking forward to a really interesting evening. Everyone is welcome to hear the speakers at 7pm followed by questions and refreshments by 8pm. Those who wish to can then stay on for the AGM of the Friends when we’ll report on what’s been happening this year and our plans for the year ahead.”
This mummy coot who lives by the small duck pond in the park is keeping a protective eye on her three babies who are doing well.
According to the RSPB site, you can identify the coots as they are all black and larger than their cousins the moorhens and have a distinctive white beak and ‘shield’ above the beak which earns it the title of ‘bald’. The feet have distinctive lobed flats of skin on the toes which act instead of webs when swimming and coots can be quite aggressive towards others. (You can also remember there’s an R in moorhen and adult moorhens have red beaks!)
According to Susan Harris, one of the park’s keen bird enthusiasts who captured this lovely photo, the coots born on the main pond have a much lower chance of survival as they have often been picked off by the gulls. That being said, there were six babies on the main pond yesterday so fingers crossed for this year! Susan has appealed to people to take care when feeding the ducks and avoid throwing food directly at the babies as this makes them more of a target for predators.