Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Ancient woodland under threat

I dare say I'd better confess up front - I'm about to have a little rant, I hope you'll bear with me (and possibly agree).

As you can guess from my blog, I enjoy walking in our beautiful countryside, and I also appreciate it looks the way it does because of mankind's stewardship.

But I don't think ripping it up for an ill thought out fast rail line is the best example of managing our landscape. The Government released detailed plans in February 2011, for a high speed rail link known as High Speed 2 that will run between London and Birmingham.

I'm can't see why the existing lines cannot be up-dated, that way at least new communities wouldn't have to contend with the noise and disruption of a railway and we could still get from London to Birmingham (or visa versa) as fast as is humanly possible! And, importantly, we won't have to loose some of our ancient woodland.

Ancient woodland, usually defined as continually wooded since at least 1600, supports a huge range of wildlife (including more threatened species than any other UK habitat) and ancient woods are also some of our prettiest woodlands. And, once it's gone we can NEVER get it back.

If you can, take a walk in them this spring and you will find carpets of bluebells, wonderful wood anemones and glorious celandines.

The Woodland Trust have gathered and analysed all information available to it regarding High Speed 2 and have identified 21 woods under direct threat from the proposals.

I realise too, 2011 has started with revolution, earthquake and tsunami and we're all constantly asked to help in some way or other (generally a donation) and I don't know about you, but I find that my heart goes out to people in distress and want to help but can't do much more than fund raise, so at least with this issue I can get involved locally and take part.

If you'd like to find out more about it follow the link.

Okay, rant over. Feeling better now, in fact I think I'll plant my own little bit of 'woodland', this weekend I'll be out with my spade!

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