Written by Frederica


Having been obliged to take a trip out of my ‘local area’ for health reasons, I drove through what was once farmland, countryside and villages – to be horrified by the sight that met my eyes!

Acres and acres of prime arable land now covered with housing (not affordable housing either – more like mansions).  Woodland cut down to fill the developers ‘need’ (or do I mean greed?) for more and more space to cover with concrete and bricks.  Villages added-on at each end with ‘ribbon developments’ that look completely out of place and out of character with the essence of these once-charming communities.  

I have read of the huge amounts of remedial works that are mounting up on these new-builds. Looking at the speed with which they have been constructed, I cannot own myself surprised by such news.  Does this mean that these dwellings will become the slums of the future? I believe that all the more solidly-built properties that Boris Johnson is now so willing to condemn for not meeting his ‘green credentials’ for heating and insulation for the future will long outlast these wood and plasterboard substitutes. I’m willing to bet that most of the traditionally built properties (especially those from the 1930 – 1960 period) will still be in better condition in 50 years time than the pretentious looking ‘new builds’. Quality will stand the test of time.

The roads have not been significantly ‘improved’ to deal with the huge numbers of additional vehicles and lorries that now use the highways hereabouts.  It is actually pretty well impossible to do so because the land through which they run is the land upon which new building has taken place. I do not doubt that similar situations now exist in many other parts of this Country. 

Just outside the town in which I live the area has now become a completely new town.  A garden centre/plant nursery I once used to patronise has sold its soul and made a quick buck by selling off a large chunk of land for development that it once used as nursery beds to grow plants for its retail outlet.  They will not get any more of my business!

No wonder then that my garden has now become almost devoid of the once thriving small bird population that used to throng my bird feeders and bird tables every day.  I have not heard a thrush or a blackbird sing in our vicinity for a very long time.  The family of goldfinches has vanished.  We see the occasional robin and a blue tit or two but little else. I haven’t seen a greenfinch for years.

Urban foxes (driven out of their once-wild countryside environment) now make free in the gardens where we used to sit out in the evenings, waiting for a sight of the hedgehogs snuffling about clearing the garden of unwanted slugs and snails. We even used to be visited by an owl that used to appear like a silent ghost and sit in our neighbour’s tree (presumably looking for mice to catch in the gardens).  Sorry, but to my mind foxes are a very poor exchange for the diverse wildlife that used to give us such pleasure.  I can remember early one morning sitting in my garden with my morning tea and seeing a hedgehog hastily building a nest under one of my shrubs.  Within a short time my garden was alive with baby hedgehogs.  What a pleasure! Not any more …

Developers are government sponsored wreckers of the fabric of Britain.  Government has decreed that thousands and thousands of new homes are to be built to meet demand. For certain the ‘demand’ for the new homes I am witnessing being ‘thrown up’ is not coming from the poorer end of the incoming communities. (I am trying to be polite about the incoming hordes from war-torn countries whom we have afforded ‘asylum’ in what once used to be our green and pleasant land!)

Governments have encouraged Councils to act as property developers.  Our local Council has recently described itself as a ‘Master Developer’.  They are sponsoring (against much protest and outcry) a new 5000 house garden-village that will dwarf the pleasant and historic small village to which it is proposed that it be appended.  They have bought up property within the town environs with public money and converted it into dwellings that are now rented out privately (not to those ‘in need’).

I would say that that is speculation with public funds and, given that our Council tax has risen year on year until it is now almost double what it was less than five years ago, is not justifiable in anybody’s language.  If their property dealings are so successful they should surely be reducing our Council Taxes not increasing them!  I do notice that Directors’ salaries have crept up considerably though! I also read that the amounts of money that they hold ‘on deposit’ stands in the many millions. I’m not suggesting that they should not hold back some surplus but should it really be that much?

They sold out their holding in Council Housing years ago to a housing association.  It seems to me that Councils everywhere are following government lead in their propensity to squander public money.  I certainly do not see services increasing nor are they being run more efficiently.  If anything, the laissez-faire attitude of Councils to the requirements and needs of the populations that they are supposed to serve shows that this is the last thing on their minds.

I cannot help but wonder, (just supposing the very worst that could happen) should we need to produce more food to meet our needs in the coming decades, just where might it be grown or where will the animals graze that may be required to fill our bellies.  Yes, I am aware that eating meat is now akin to the heinous sin of ‘racism’ in some camps, but food is food and I cannot see me ever feeling able to eat fox.

So, from where I sit, government is wholly to blame for the trashing of Britain in every way possible. It is most assuredly the cuckoo-in-the-nest of this Country and it is time that they were tipped out of the nest that they so obviously feel is theirs by right.


Photo by Brendan A Ryan

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