Saturday, March 17, 2012

...not in my back yard!...

The following opinions are my own personal rant...

Some developers don't like wildlife. It gets in their way.
Take our quiet country lane. It is a single track road leading to an 18th century farmhouse.
The fields surrounding us have hares, barn owls, tawny owls, lunar hornet moths, dragonflies, veteran oak trees and thick holly hedges. In the summer months we camp out in the back field, watch stars and cook food round the camp fire.

Bah! Say the developers.
"What do you know about the real world?" 

"We'll do you a favour and dig up the hedges, widen the road and put some nice tarmac down.
 Those old trees are unhealthy too. We'll help you out and replace them with some nice ornamental shrubs.
Hundreds will want to own this rural idyll; so we'll build houses right on top of the remaining wildlife.
There. Job done. Say thank you".

(All the developers across the land join in the chorus...)
"Don't be such a nimby,
You can't stop progress.
The houses have got to go somewhere.
It's in the strategic plan..."

Apparently, kids don't need to play in wild places either. Wait until they see the safe patches of square green turf the developers have created for them. They'll love it, all fenced in, bland and cosy.

What?! You say you played here with your family for free? Oh no no no. We can't have that. Our cheapest property on this site is only £120,000.
Oh, and we're cutting your son's climbing tree down too. It's unhealthy. I'll leave you to explain that to him.

OK, to be fair, we have to remember that many developers and local authorities are, when faced with a financial crisis, not rational organisations. In the absence of any true innovation they panic and the end result by default, becomes one of destroying local biodiversity and community health. Anyone who stands up for wildlife is an unworldly fool in the face of demand for housing space.

You might be surprised at what I'm going to say next.
I am not against development.
Development as evolution in thought and action. Not just a "spreading out".
I saw no development in the plans on show tonight at a local residents meeting.
It was just a plan to build over our wild green patch.

Lucky us.

Here's an offer. I will hug and squeeze any developer who is a true crafter of exciting communities and space.
Work with me to make our wild green patch better for people and wildlife?
Development in the future might not be so boring and harmful if we start thinking outside those dreadful boxes.

Can you tell I'm cross? (Hee hee!)
I'm meeting with the local councillor next week and will keep you posted on wildlife, development and developers...let the games commence; and please, even if you've never seen my place, you probably know of a wild green patch near you. Stand up for wild green patches everywhere. They need you and you need them.

Here's some great ideas for houses I'd like to see next door...

Public wealth (nature) vs private profit:

Have your say on the shaping of Shropshire, you don't have to live here to have an opinion...

Transition Towns:


  1. it's so sad to see havens for wildlife being built on by developers who have no feeling for that wildlife.

    Thankfully there are some developers who are starting to think creatively and carefully about how they can build with nature, but not enough do that

    I hope your research and campaigning pays off

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. It's daunting sometimes being the one (small) voice against very rich landowners and developers who presume the outcome is inevitable. I am getting a lot of support from friends, local residents and contacts further afield through facebook and twitter. The very least I can do is capture a record of this patch for my 3 year old son to look at when he's older. I hope to do much more though! Wish me luck?!