I have many lovely memories of Rimrose Valley.
I’m 31 now and I grew up on the Brownmoor side of the Valley.
When I was a kid, my grandad, my pride and joy, would take us walking with our dog and point out all the wildlife; from foxes and rabbits, to caterpillars and butterflies… and the flowers; blue bells and fairy hats. I have no idea what they are called even now, but the white bell shaped ones!
We would follow paths and end up in the centre of long grass and the path would end and we would stumble through laughing and get stung by nettles. He would always find a dock leaf to sort it out. I’m not sure if this was a real cure for nettle stings, or if he just made me believe in magic.
It was probably his favourite place and he made me fall in love with it, too.
One of his favourite stories was when I must have been 7, maybe 8 and we were walking along talking about wolves, my worst fear at that age. He was telling me how wolves hunt in packs and are rarely alone in the wilderness. Just as he said that, a pack of “wolves” came charging around the bushes! They were wolves to me, but were actually rough collies like Lassie, out with their breeder making use of the Valley. Apparently, you couldn't see me for the dust! My grandad said that I ran faster than our dog, which was also startled by the surprise of 10, maybe 12 dogs on the loose!!
This story tickled my grandad and he loved to tell everyone about it.
Unfortunately my grandad passed away 8 years ago. He was 89 and so many people knew him, mainly from when he was out walking with our dog.
Rimrose Valley is a place where people go for peace and quiet to escape from their busy lives. It's often a place where you can say hello and bump into others doing the same.
I have lots of other memories such as building dens, playing hide and seek, going for bike rides and roller-blading down the hill at the Beech Road entrance. I also pulled the wrong brake on my bike when I was 6 going down that hill and went straight over the handle bars, splitting my lip. The next day I was at a beauty competition and still came 2nd!
I'm now a member of Rimrose Runners and I thoroughly enjoy running along with a lovely bunch of people, reminiscing about all of the happy times.
I will be extremely sad if Highways England get their way.
Save Rimrose Valley!