In an earlier post (What about my Tits) , I said our walks in the woods were changing. We saw part of the devastation for the first time today.
Devastation isn’t the right word to describe it. Massacre covers it so much better.
Rather than following the fence leading us to a variety of rabbit burrows which our dog loves to investigate, we found ourselves turning south towards the bottom half of the forest where all the work was being carried out. Being a weekend, we had no worries about works traffic or machinery. As we approached what had been a narrow dirt track less than a month ago, it’s now the width of a small road, and lined with log piles 10 feet plus high on both sides. There are ruts in the mud some eighteen inches to two feet deep showing heavy duty tyre treads.
The trees where we used to walk have gone. All of them. The landscape is totally desolate, a vast empty space of naked earth, silent of birdsong. The grassy paths so familiar to us a little while ago have been chewed up and spat out by the jaws of the logging machines and transport lorries. Nothing is as it was, or how we anticipated. From the maps placed at all the entrances showing the affected areas and warnings for walkers and horse riders alike, we knew where they were going to be clearing the trees, but had no idea they would be CLEARING EVERYTHING in those specific areas. And they’ve only just started, as this purge is to continue until the end of December.
On our walk today, we noticed trees still standing marked with the blue or red dots of death. Trees are living things after all, but in a few weeks these majestic pines will be reduced to nothing more than logs which in turn will be used for cheap furniture, MDF sheets or plywood.
There is absolutely nothing we can do. It is not our business and The Forestry Commission is in business to make money. There are coloured dots on many trees on all of our other routes, including the beautiful copse where the warrens are, so it was with very heavy hearts that we abandoned our walk and turned back.