It’s started. They are clearing trees around the ponds in preparation for years of work that will rebuild the dams and change the landscape.
It’s a multi-million pound folly driven by bureaucrats who have calculated a remote chance of flooding that triggers disruptive and expensive engineering. In an era when we’re supposed to be cutting spending, we are instead spending money on cutting trees.
I don’t actually object to changing things in principle. It’s a very artificial part of the Heath that is more like parkland than meadows. They will plant new trees and we swimmers will cope with finding new places to dip for a couple of years. The planned dams look overly massive but nature will respond in time.
But today, looking at the those fresh stumps surrounded by mud, it all felt a bit too much like a battlefield.