The first day of teaching at Leeds University went very smoothly. I was up at five and was in very good time to catch the 06.42 train which arrived bang on time. After a brisk walk up the hill to the university I was all ready to give my first lecture at 9. This year we've changed the format, with two lectures given back-to-back in the morning, and then a field trip in the afternoon.
Despite the late spring, the grassland at Ledsham Banks had progressed further than in previous years, making the student's quadrat recording relatively easier. We were blessed with warmth and perfect cloudless skies - almost too much of a good thing on a site with little shade, and one student started to feel unwell and had to leave early. However, most enjoyed the fine weather and worked hard at improving their plant id skills.
We arrived back in Leeds a bit after 4 and I had some time to meander round the city before my train. It was rather too hot to go far, so I sat for a while under a shady tree in the Millennium Square, people watching.
I also stopped for a while by the Mandela Garden, which is a green oasis in the centre of the city and looked almost tropical in the bright sunshine.
Nelson Mandela was made an Honorary Freeman of the City of Leeds on the 30th April 2001. The ceremony took place in Leeds Civic Hall before Mr. Mandela re-dedicated the nearby Mandela Garden. The gardens includes a cascading water feature and a 16ft high bronze sculpture of outstretched hands, by the Leeds-born sculptor Kenneth Armitage.