On a recent walk along the seafront in Boscombe it struck me that although it was lovely, particularly now there are a couple of good cafes, there was something missing.
Of course it could have been that the renovated pier could have had the star treatment as at Deal in Kent – beautifully designed by Architect Niall McLaughlin it is a fabulous place for coffee. And the stronger the wind blows the better the coffee tastes.
But no it wasn’t that. It was the lack of green.
Take this new development at Boscombe. The buildings themselves have character. But they are very tall and it means that this landscape is difficult to relate to. Great views from within but a stark wall from the sea front where we walk.
Think of the atmosphere of pine forests that edge towards the sea in Greece. The fragrance and much needed shade on a hot summers day. And the protection when the winds blow.
Would it be too much here in England? Well another English resort has shown that itworks just as well on the English channel. The Lower Leas Park in Folkestone is a joy to visit. Small trees are under planted with a mix of perennials and shrubs that can withstand the harsh salt winds and so create an atmospheric and delightful place to be. The park seems to be always full, in almost all weathers.
Bournemouth is of course famous for its beaches and thousands flood in on every sunny day and every inch matters as we all cram onto the sand. But could the promenade be improved? is there space for everyone and everything? I’ll leave you with that thought.