DURING the Christmas break, I had the opportunity to go walking with my family to enjoy the Wren's Nest and Mons Hill areas of Dudley.
As you will appreciate, these are areas of great historical and geological interest and also of great natural beauty.
What affected the experience for me however, was the amount of littering, graffiti and general dilapidation of the area and although it was enjoyable, these things tainted my memories of our day out.
It is clear that at the moment people are being moved out of large parts of the Priory and Wren's Nest housing estates to make way for improvements.
However, in this day and age, when heritage sites are becoming more and more sought after, isn’t it time to rethink the whole policy on how this area is used for the future?
If, instead of redeveloping these areas they were demolished and returned to parkland, a whole new area of historical and geological interest could be opened up stretching from the castle itself through to the Wren's Nest Reserve and Mons Hill which could be become a real attraction, not just locally but nationally.
There are plenty of visitors interested in the various aspects of history and culture that this part of our borough has to offer who would be drawn to an attraction such as this.
There is no shortage of places for new homes to be built around Dudley itself in areas that would not impact on our valuable heritage in the way that these estates do at present.
It is clear the good work done by the Black Country Museum and other similar attractions has been instrumental in keeping Dudley on the map as an important place for visitors.
However, we do need to keep reinventing ourselves if we are to keep this momentum going.
Can we have a rethink and bring a bit of extra vision to the process of planning for the future?