The Countryman's Weekly

RIVER CONSERVATION

RIVER CONSERVATION
October 11
08:04 2017

WEB4-11-10-17River damage always flows downstream

By Jeremy Lucas.

CONSERVATION in England, particularly in those places that are not seen by many, has so much going on. There is so much effort, for whatever paltry gain. You hardly see it. We see the green tapestry, fading now to ochre in the autumn, and it all looks beautiful. That’s the trouble.

The fells look so empty, so scoured clean by wind and rain, until you look closely. What it is and how it appears to be is seldom what it seems. Why do we not notice all those sheep? Where are the trees? Where are those ghastly hellholes that are finally immense cattle sheds where beasts endure their horrid, short lives in a state that most of us scarcely even dare to imagine, much less admit?

As long as there are beefburgers right? How is it we become immune to the stench of slurry and how do we react to the clarion cries of ‘dredge the river’ when another flood engorges houses built on the floodplain, the wrong place? So the rivers are dredged, straightened, stepped by weirs and sluices, and ruined from the wonderful natural corridors they were.

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