Earlier this month I took a stroll through the Green. It was mid-afternoon and along with others I was enjoying the warmth of the autumn sun on my face and back. Leaves were just beginning to display their bright colors and some were already fluttering to the ground. Tiny tots were laughing and shouting in the playground area while their older siblings were playing catch or football on the Green close by. What was new for me were the wooden sculptures of the owls and fox. Children were having great fun sitting on the fox and looking at the baby owl.
I particularly loved watching little 15 month old Ben’s happy face as he was lifted up to touch the mother owl’s eyes and beak and then leant down to pat the baby owl. He is not yet walking on his own (but he’s almost there!) and he loves to hold onto the fox as he walks around it feeling its tail, ears and nose. As he left to go home he waved goodbye to his wooden animal friends.
Although most of the flowers had died away, there were still a few remaining and some bright purple daisy-like flowers (Asters or Michaemlas Daisies I have been told) still blooming. I can imagine how beautiful the flower beds must have looked in the spring and summer.
On leaving the Green, I read with interest the new noticeboard which recounted the history of the Green and how it had been saved in Victorian days by the Friends of Fortune Green. West Hampstead very well can be proud of and thankful for those people and for those who continue to carry on the work of protecting and caring for this pleasant place. You are indeed fortunate!