Urbanising countryside by back door

PUBLISHED: 12:15 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

SIR, — I was interested to read that the Woodland Trust intends to buy 850 acres of land at Sandridge in Herts for £8.5m to plant native trees (Herts Advertiser, July 31) and is comparing it as our equivalent of the rain forest. It then goes on to say how

SIR, - I was interested to read that the Woodland Trust intends to buy 850 acres of land at Sandridge in Herts for £8.5m to plant native trees (Herts Advertiser, July 31) and is comparing it as our equivalent of the rain forest.

It then goes on to say how much it will benefit the two million people who live within 15 miles of the site as a large and accessible space for recreational purposes to where the majority will probably drive their cars. This seems little short of urbanising the countryside by the back door at a time when it should be important for conservationists to seek to reduce the human impact.

Has no one told these people, who are supposed to be conservationists, that it is the increase in the human footprint that is damaging the rain forests and the planet at large, and that in the increasing global food shortage, arable land could be better used for producing food at reasonable cost?

It seems the Woodland Trust is more concerned about extending its empire at the public's expense than considering the environmental, economic and even social damage of its now-outdated agenda.

It is also my experience that once the Trust buys woodland, generally and mainly with other people's money, it moves on to its next development, with little regard for countering anti-social behaviour and monitoring for basic maintenance.

Perhaps it is time for the Woodland Trust to realise that quality of woodland is much more desirable than quantity in terms of acreage.

ANGUS MACMILLAN,

Meikle Boturich, Dunbartonshire.

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