"For now we are young let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see" Neutral Milk Hotel.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Attitudes to biodiversity which shame the area

Here's a shot showing the latest treatment meted out to the verges which 'guard' the southern entrance to Hunstanton.

Remember that superb display of wildflowers - Common Broomrape, Wild Clary, Yarrow, Perforate St. John's Wort and much else besides - cut down in its prime for no good reason at all. No wonder insult is added to injury and the virtually featureless green plains (our now sorry excuses for verges) are ploughed and seeded with 'wild' flowers brought in from some foreign field. Who on earth thought this a good idea ?

Note that any of the usual nonsense about road safety can't apply, as all the cuttings were just strewn in the road and left to block the drains too. A good use of taxpayers' money ?

And this isn't the half of it. In response to a note letting those who might be responsible for the upkeep of the grounds of a certain Hunstanton church know of the rich display of Meadow Saxifrage in their grounds, we were invited to dig the plants up given our evident fascination with them !

Then there's what is now called (as a sign informs us) 'Park Piece' in Holme - once a superb field and home to a precious Natterjack population - one of very few in Britain and Ireland - and a blaze of colourful luxuriance in the spring and early summer. It becomes ever more vandalised each year - treated as if it's some urban park.  First cut in half - fenced and one half ploughed - and now grazed by an assortment of pets. A big hole has been dug at one end (though the new scrape is a nice touch) and most recently, a rocky monolith has appeared (a huge piece of stone brought in from some far -away place which seems to have little to do with Norfolk, let alone Holme) and much of what remains of the wild-flower-studded field has been mown down. So much for the finest display of Grass-leaved Vetchling in the northwest of Norfolk. A flat green plain strewn with drying cuttings is so much better, isn't it ? Maybe the Natterjacks think so. Was it mown under licence I wonder ?

And don't get me started on the virtual destruction of the small, ancient field to the north of the River Hun and immediately to the east of the road bridge in Holme village, where a pond has been infilled and many of the undulations evened out to form - yes - another featureless grass plain. But this time adorned with hundreds of metres of fencing which subdivide it into a myriad paddocks. The area, apparently, housed the remains of an elaborate Saxon fish trap. Hard to tell now.

And finally (but only for now, I fear) the  River Hun is now all but devoid of aquatic plants for much of its length. Apparently, the amount of silt deposited is so huge that the substrate is now wholly unsuitable for supporting plant growth. And no, it has nothing to do with the storm surge - the damage started in earnest last spring when a siltation 'event' (presumably following some mismanagement of land somewhere in the tiny catchment) smothered and then killed off the vegetation. So in its short length of about 3 miles, we manage to destroy one of the county's finest short rivers.

Shame on us.

Well written Andy & what a bloody disgrace. Just yet another outrageous example of a waste of taxpayers money combined with destruction of the environment. I will fire off a letter to the Hunstanton mag as well. Let me know if we can do that!! Chris

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