The first casualty: this 150 year old ash by
the stream was felled before work started in the meadow.
housing development at Coxley Dell, as it will
be known, has been moving on slowly during the last year but the
scaffolding that is going up now is a sign that, after all the groundwork,
solid walls will soon be rising.
Coxley Dell? You might think that as this is a streamside
meadow, with most of the trees and hedges retained, the result might
turn out to be a rural-looking group of structures, in harmony with
their surroundings but the scale of the £5000,000 houses means
that this will no longer be a rural retreat of any kind: it will
simply be more brick, tarmac and high panel fences inserted into
a flood-prone wildlife corridor.
broke my heart to see the old ivy-covered ash (left)
go, along with some hawthorns that screened the site. Ironically,
it later turned out there was no reason for these to be felled because
the plans were modified and the approach road is now at the other
side of the site.
all the work distributing Rough Patch over the last few months,
I'm winding down and catching up with domestic routine which has been
ignored such as bringing order to my studio. The afternoon, my enthusiasm
still undimmed, I wash the car but the days are so short and the sun hardly
gets around to our front garden at this time of year. As I leather off
the car I notice that on its roof swirly ice crystals are forming fern-like
Beyond Smithy Brook (right) on Hostingley Lane what three 'genetically
modified' mega-turkeys (made from plastic-covered hay
bails) sit in the field. Usually at this time of year you'll see the real,
un-modified turkeys enjoying the last few weeks of their lives outdoors
but, presumably because of the uncertainty about bird flu, they're being
kept under cover this year.
The Hostingley Lane turkeys always looked like relaxed, contented birds,
so much so that one customer at the farm said:
'I'd like to order a turkey, but not one of those that is out
in the field.'
I don't know where they think their turkey would come from!
Richard Bell, email@example.com