No ghosts remembered
No permission sought for death
No pardon asked
No oaks will grow in grace here
Profit sang a louder song
The hedgerows have been uprooted. The avenue of stately oaks felled and carted away, mud-caked and unmourned by those whose hands did the deed. For the birds and small creatures to whom these trees were home, though, their demise would have meant something different. The fields around where the avenue once stood are now a morass of winter mud, unsheltered, barren of food or hiding places and full of vehicles.
They are building a high-speed rail link that seems to have become obsolete before it was ever begun. Adaptations to the way business and meetings now work remotely leave so many of us wondering if the money for the much-contested project would not be better spent on helping those people and services suffering through the current crisis caused by the virus.
Recent estimates suggest the new high-speed rail link could cost as much as a hundred billion pounds… and still not be operating a full passenger service for another twenty years. By 2040, are we really going to be worrying about shaving half an hour’s travelling time off a relatively short journey?
Meanwhile, a huge scar is being dredged across the countryside, irrevocably destroying natural habitats, ancient trees and so much beauty… and that is without the damage to any archaeology that gets in the way. What price ‘progress’?