Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice threaten to bring down trees and power lines. Weather forecasters do all they can to prepare us.
What happens here today comes with no warning. It is shocking and bewildering. We do not understand what is happening. No one tells us.
'Why are you felling these trees?'
The men tell us they don’t know they just been told to fell them. They say they do not know if they’re unsafe or diseased. During the day, I return to see and hear a mature sycamore come crashing down and splintering as it hits the ground. I take photographs of their cores which look sound.
'What is happening here?
'They’re going to build a Mosque,' one of the men from Preston offers! More trees are likely to be felled at the junction of Underwood. Underwood, it’s ironic that all the roads around here are named for trees: Birchwood, Applewood, Hazelwood, Maple Drive. Cedar Grove, Oakwood, Greenwood. The beauty of this location was its trees. We choose to live close to trees, in affinity with them. With Climate Change constantly before us we are reminded how vital trees are to our well-being. Felling on this scale is reckless and irresponsible. Mature trees are irreplaceable.
BPR Construction, Preston, confirm that their client is Story Homes. We also learn of an application regarding SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) recently made for this location. We investigate for ourselves because no one has had the courtesy to share with us what is happening to an environment we care about. And the pattern of our daily lives is impacted upon and disrupted. I watch an elderly neighbour with a white stick try to make his way safely through fallen branches and along a churned-up footpath. This repeated failure to communicate radical change and destruction of landscape and habitat only adds to our anger at seeing what a neighbour insists is ‘environmental vandalism.’ 'Write that,' he urges me. 'That’s what it is, write that.'
Friday morning and hail hammers down as Storm Eunice sets in. Blackbirds shelter in garden shrubs. Out there in the ghyll birds were preparing to nest, their food and shelter gone. With this scale of tree felling on the Brigsteer Road wildlife will struggle to survive.
Friday 18th February update
South Lakeland District Council owns this land where SUDS (sustainable urban drainage system) is to be constructed. Tree-felling here was not authorized with the SLDC. Apparently it is named Brackenwood, as is the close above the ghyll.
Footpath The footpath from Underwood to the Brigsteer Road is closed.
The footpath from Greenwood to the Brigsteer Road is open (barriers erected for public safety) although the ground has been deeply rutted by heavy machinery and is deep mud.
The duration of work re SUDS is unspecified.
Saturday 19th. Appropriate signage, at last. Thank you. Now there are signs reading 5 mph, heavy plant. And a sign indicates where pedestrians should walk.