Monday, 2 September 2013

The Sanitisation of the Countryside, and Another Gamble.

The area in the photo above is just a small part of a large tract of ancient deciduous woodland, intermingled with evergreen forest.
 This place is special to me. I grew up here, the woods were our friends and as youngsters we roamed free from dawn to dusk without fear.
 We'd build camps, play 'war', swim in the lakes and climb to the very top of those ancient oaks.
  All my mate's parents knew I'd been around because I was renowned for always leaving a large stick in their porchways.
 They were halcyon days, we lived for the summer holidays and our band of brothers and sisters felt that we owned those beautiful trees and the pathways and tracks between.
 I returned recently, and whilst those arboreal giants still remain, I was saddened at what I saw.
 In their infinite wisdom the local authorities have sought to tame and 'improve' my wood.
 A new visitor centre behind a mechanical barrier, where one must pay to park, with leaflets telling you where you can and can't go, and a price list for the cyclists and horse riders they are encouraging.
 Amongst the trees, a slide, some bizarre spider sculpture and a wooden chair of gargantuan proportions, no doubt to attract kids who no longer climb trees.
 Worst of all though.....the unnecessary signage.

All this is quite beyond me. There are even signs telling us, or maybe the fauna of the area which bit is a 'nature reserve'. Of course, these signs ruin the 'nature reserve', but at least everything knows where it needs to be!
 This woodland has survived quite nicely and been visited by humans for thousands of years. It angers me that local authorities can exploit it in such away and sanitise it such, just to make a few quid.

 On a lighter note, I've taken another gamble today on a rod purchase. Some of you may remember my last successful ebay punt for a bargain MK IV.
 If my latest gamble on a very obscure listing pays off you'll be hearing about it here. I'm quite excited because it just might be the start of something good, more of which in good time my friends.


  1. I am 100% with you on this one Gurn, as a nipper I spent half my life up a tree the other half stood in a stream with water lapping over my wellies. We didn't need to be told where, when and what, it was about discovery and I was just as happy alone or with a group of idiots each trying to out dare the others. Sanitising the countryside makes it just another amenity for the pampered public to walk along prepared tracks and to look at nature but not to touch.

    They paved paradise put up a parking lot with a pink hotel a boutique and swinging hot spot......

  2. Goodness me. What a sad, and frankly pathetic, sight. How long before someone sues them for slipping on a bit of moss?!

    Everything has to be micro-managed to the nth degree... where to park, walk, ride, cycle, look, touch, break wind..........