Friday 31 March 2023

'The crowd goes wild...'

My letter to the chairman of Nottingham Forest Football Club about building nature into the proposed world famous City Ground developments.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Nicholas Randall


Nottingham Forest Football Club

The City Ground

Nottingham NG2 5FJ

Dear Mr Randall,

Will we ever forget that deafening crowd roar at the WFCG during the play-off semi-final against The Blades...? We’re looking down at the heroics of Brice Samba from our seats in the Upper Bridgford. Jill next to me shouting and pointing. No idea what. I’m chanting Stevie’s name with the faithful until I’m hoarse. 

Then I see it. Above the thundering sea of red and white. A tiny bat fluttering.

Forest till I die. But with nature always in my heart.

I read today of the fantastic stuff being done for wildlife at the Neucamp in Barcelona. Along with the rest of the nation I’m currently watching Sir David Attenborough’s poignant swan song to the wildlife of the UK: The Wild Isles. 

Artists impression of the redeveloped City Ground

That single moment of seeing the bat showed me how amazingly resilient nature can be. And how, with a little help, it can go on to flourish.

It made me think of the development of the Peter Taylor stand and what a great opportunity to build in nature that impressive vision for our club presents. At little or no extra cost. Provision for bats and birds and insects in the new build. Perhaps green walls to cloak the impressive stand. That famous river whose mists roll onto our ground is also a fantastic resource for wildlife. It’s quietly knocking, waiting to be invited in.

Forests proud community mission began with the inspiration of Garibaldi. Our shirt sponsorship of UNHCR makes me wear my shirt with even greater pride. Promoting wildlife could be a massive opportunity to send messages about the climate crisis and the eco-systems collapse that Sir David reminds us of. 

I know you’re hugely busy but I’d welcome the chance to meet with you and my friends in Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to discuss this further. It’s a winner.

With best wishes 

Rob Carlyle

Season ticket holder

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