A POEM A DAY - CRACKLEY WOODS




Today is Earth Day, an annual event celebrated throughout the world since 1970 to show support for environmental protection of our Earth, its habitat, flora and animals. The news, internet and areas not under lockdown are full of messages and events calling for more resources and action to be taken to protect our world. The corona virus crisis and the slowdown in economic activity and travel has reminded us how polluted our normal lifestyle is for the planet and how quickly change can be affected. Whilst we hope that lessons can be learned as the dreadful pandemic hits countries across the world, in one small wood in Warwickshire nothing has changed. Under Government instruction, taking advantage of the lockdown and lack of news coverage, HS2 contractors are continuing to fell trees and destroy ancient woodlands during the nesting season. They appear to not even be following the agreed environmental protection for soil recovery and bird and wildlife preservation and there is growing evidence that workers and protesters alike are being put at risk due to lack of the required social distancing. At a time when national funding is being diverted to the necessary help for public and private sectors to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and the economic and social viability and necessity for the HS2 project continues to be questioned, it is shocking and inflammatory for this destruction to be going ahead, unreported, practically unseen if it was not for the resolute campaigning work of those aiming to protect the woods. I thank them for their courage and dedication and send a call to all who care for our environment that supporting Earth Day is not enough, we need to look now at our neighbourhoods, our woodlands, fields and hedges, our gardens, cities, coasts. Every natural area that can be protected and supported should be treasured, however small and insignificant it seems on a global level. If we start to act locally, expressing our outrage, joining the campaigners, using our skills and contacts, maybe it is not yet too late. Too late of course for the trees in Crackley Woods, already lying on the ground. 

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