End of year- a Hyde Park resident’s perspective

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Sue Buckle, long term resident of Hyde Park shares her thoughts about the end of term, students departure and how students are viewed by permanent residents.

It’s that time of year again- gardens are lovely with spring blossom and on pavements, black bags overflowing with clothes charity shops would be glad of. The universities terms are nearly over and soon our student neighbours will be on the move.

It’s sad to say goodbye to the students who’ve become friends, even though we’ve never had the promised coffee or drink together due to busy lives.  My immediate neighbours have been great, considerate and friendly, and I wish they were staying another year. The ones on the street who’ve woken people up after midnight with loud, shrieking discussions about who’s going in which taxi or who’ve resolutely refused/forgotten to put their bins back in gardens- we can live without!

So far, Bank Holiday Monday, it’s been pretty quiet with only a few occasional loud boozey voices late at nights. We empathise with the euphoria of ending exams, but if only the lucky ones would remember the poor souls still revising for their exams. Local school children are still revising for their GCSE and A-level exams. Friends from a neighbouring street report “bearable noise” so far, but are bracing themselves for the next few weeks. Even the benefits of Hyde Park Christmas- the piles of discarded clothes, furniture, household items and food- don’t make up for the misery of sleep deprivation. Especially when you have an early start the next day or been told “This is a student area. Why don’t you move?”

Going back to bins- yesterday, walking up Victoria Road with my two adult daughters visiting their old home for the weekend, we had to step around the mess from bins overturned by we assume bladdered idiots on their way home. Festering rubbish including so much discarded food all over the pavement! This morning, three Council staff were picking up and bagging every smelly item- at a cost to the cash strapped Council! In a queue at the Cardigan Road Co-Op recently a friend overheard two students discussion on what a trash heap Hyde Park was. O the irony….

BUT, coming up my street today I chatted to some students who are staying next year, all done with exams apart from one. They’re keeping our recent street-flyer and will be following our tips to pass on their edible food to our Real Junk Food Project down at All Hallows Church, plus any other unwanted stuff which is reusable or recyclable.

When its near to the end of June, my washing machine will be on most days with binned clothes to pass on to charity shops and the South Headingley Community Association table top stall at Kirkstall Festival and Unity Day will benefit from all the stuff that students or their parents cars can’t fit in. Hopefully these will come straight to me, rather than via the bins!

Then it’s a peaceful summer with those of us whose home is here getting the chance to know better the students here over the summer- before October, and another 200+ new neighbours to try to get to know and welcome to the Hyde Park community!

Honey bee talk

This Tuesday there was a really interesting and informative talk presented by Pre Carbo and Jen Dyer from SRI on honey bees and their roles in the hive.

The talk started off with two quizzes – one where the group had to guess which of the animals on the screen were wasps and which were bees, and the second one where we had to decide whether the bees are workers, drones or queens. Hint: the drones (males) have bigger eyes and bodies.

Picture1

The queen

So how can you tell which one is the queen bee in a hive? Well, it’s important to note that there’s only one queen per colony. They have a larger abdomen than other bees and their legs are red. Queen bees live for the longest in the colony – they can live up to 3-5 years! They are created, fed and groomed by workers and they can lay up to 2000 eggs per day.

A really interesting fact about queens is that the second they emerge from the cell they kill the other unhatched virgin queens in their cells and fight to the death with any other virgins queens hatched at the same time.

Apis mellifera, Queen Honey Bee, side view.

The worker

Workers are females from fertilised eggs. They can live up to 6 weeks during summer and 6 months in winter – this is due to the fact that they work much harder in the summertime. Their roles in the colony differ according to their age.

Workers actually die after stinging mammals because the sting gets caught in their skin and pulls out the bee’s insides when they fly away, but they can retrieve their sting with other insects.

Picture2

The drone

Drones are males – but unlike workers, they are from unfertilised eggs. They are raised in spring and summer by workers.  Drones only live for a maximum of 25 days but they are likely to die earlier as they die as soon as they mate. Mating the virgin queen is the drone’s only role so if they don’t die before winter comes they are thrown out of the hive when food becomes scarce.

Picture3

To end the talk, there was another interactive part where we looked at photos of bees from a ‘virtual hive’ and tried to identify various parts of them with our new-found knowledge.

The presentation was really fascinating and I’ve got to say I learned a lot of new information! These talks are a great way to find out more about a wide-range of topics and get involved so I would definitely recommend going along.

To find more events like this, visit our events page: http://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/events/.

The next session hosted by SRI on the 21st of Octoberhttp://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/event/sustainability-seminars-hosted-by-sri-the-road-to-paris-exploring-the-economic-case-for-climate-action-in-cities/.

Thinking of Celebrating Your Return to Leeds?

amandacropIf you are thinking of inviting your friends over for a few drinks to celebrate your return to Leeds, spare a thought for those living next door who may up at 7am to go to work, school or lectures.

Whilst you are studying here in Leeds you will make some great friends and have some great experiences, and rightly so. It is, however, important to note that you are now part of a much larger community with very different needs and lifestyles to your own.

Here are some simple tips to help you remain on friendly terms with your neighbours.

  • Get to Know your Neighbours. Different people will be affected by noise differently. Elderly neighbours and families with children tend to go to bed earlier and require more sleep. Working people and students are most affected by weekday noise.
  • Stick to weekends if you are thinking of having a party. As a matter of courtesy call around to your neighbours in advance to let them know and negotiate a time which the party will continue till. Consider giving your neighbours a mobile number so that they can notify you if the noise levels are reaching an inconsiderate volume. However, regular weekly late-night disturbances even at weekends are likely to result in complaints.
  • Consider holding celebrations away from your home. Many city centre bars offer rooms which can be booked at no cost.
  • Keeping doors and windows closed, especially in warm weather, will help to limit noise levels. If you or any guests are using an outside space for smoking, try and keep the volume of your conversations to a minimum.
  • If you play a musical instrument, speak to your housemates and neighbours and agree a time that you can practice without disturbing them.
  • Use taxi firms which have a call back service to notify you when they have arrived. Remain indoors until they arrive.
  • If you do get a visit from a neighbour, Police or Council Officer, remain calm and polite.

If you are having any problem with a noisy neighbour or any other concern regarding the community in which you live, contact the Universities and Colleges Neighbourhood Helpline service on 0113 343 1064 (24 hour voicemail) or neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk.

For more helpful tips and advice view: