Author Topic: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct  (Read 2365 times)

Offline NeilC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2021, 09:05:11 am »
“Ancient woodland” has nothing to do with Neolithic times. It means an area that has been woodland continuously since before a date a few hundred years ago.

Unfortunately, most lay-people think that ancient woodland has been in existence since the ice age. It is the wrong word, and very misleading. It is only when you investigate that you find such oxymorons as The New Forest being Ancient Woodland!

And it is emotively used to great effect by such political organisations as The Woodland Trust, which I think is very sad and turns me away from them.

Chris.

Do you have any evidence that 'most lay-people think that ancient woodland has been in existence since the ice age'?  That's certainly not what the word 'ancient' means.  The Oxford online dictionary gives two definitions, one of which is 'very old; having existed for a very long time,' which suggests that its use in this context is perfectly appropriate.

And I think you are being somewhat unfair to the Woodland Trust.  They use emotive language because it is something they care deeply about and because they no doubt feel that the destruction of ancient woodland is a tragedy.  It's also a very effective campaigning tool if you want to encourage other people to care about the issue - much more so than simply appealing to people's reason (as we saw in the Brexit debate for example).   

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2021, 10:16:24 am »
Do you have any evidence that 'most lay-people think that ancient woodland has been in existence since the ice age'?  That's certainly not what the word 'ancient' means.  The Oxford online dictionary gives two definitions, one of which is 'very old; having existed for a very long time,' which suggests that its use in this context is perfectly appropriate.

And I think you are being somewhat unfair to the Woodland Trust.  They use emotive language because it is something they care deeply about and because they no doubt feel that the destruction of ancient woodland is a tragedy.  It's also a very effective campaigning tool if you want to encourage other people to care about the issue - much more so than simply appealing to people's reason (as we saw in the Brexit debate for example).

I don't have peer reviewed evidence, no. But I have specifically asked a few people when in the middle of a conversation how old they think ancient woodland is, and the answer has always been 'basically for ever'. When I point out that a couple of hundred years is enough, they are surprised. You should try it when the opportunity arises. And some of these people are subscribers to The Woodland Trust.

Certainly the Woodland Trust are effective at campaigning, but I feel they overstep the line between honest debate and using emotive language / lies to prey on peoples ignorance.

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Offline mikem

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2021, 12:25:32 pm »
"forever" can be any period longer than that person's lifetime (or a much shorter timeframe in the case of teenagers)

Offline AR

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2021, 02:32:52 pm »
... they overstep the line between honest debate and using emotive language / lies to prey on peoples ignorance.

When I saw that sentence, two words immediately sprang to my mind. The first was "Daily". The second was "Mail"...
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Offline NeilC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2021, 03:29:59 pm »

Certainly the Woodland Trust are effective at campaigning, but I feel they overstep the line between honest debate and using emotive language / lies to prey on peoples ignorance.

Chris.

Do you have any specific examples?

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2021, 04:53:45 pm »

Do you have any specific examples?

Yes. There was a segment on the news a few weeks ago with a senior lady from The Woodland Trust. The presenter made a comment along the lines of 'HS2 is obviously cutting down a lot of trees that won't be replaced', to which the lady agreed and supported (I forget the exact words). But that is complete bollocks.

https://www.therailwayhub.co.uk/49807/hs2-set-to-reach-730000-planted-trees-milestone-by-spring-2021/

What she should have said was either 'I don't know if that is true or not', or 'that is not true - HS2 will plant far more trees than they cut down. We would prefer them not to be cut down in the first place but increasing the overall woodland cover is far better than doing nothing at all'.

So a few million viewers will take a negative view of HS2 because a lady with gravitas has just lied to them all to suit their political agenda.

It's thanks to cretins like that that HS2 is costing a million pounds a bloody meter!! They would have all of us living in caves if they could. Certainly they never would have allowed our civilisation to have reached the current point, what with transportation and housing and such like.

I'd be inclined to support them if they were concerned with planting trees, but as soon as you step into 'anti' territory, no thanks!

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Offline Speleofish

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2021, 05:55:08 pm »
It's one thing to plant lots of trees, it's another to replicate the diversity of plants (and animals) in the habitat you've disrupted. I assume (without knowing what I'm talking about) that one can import sufficient insects, fungi and plants to create an environment that will evolve into something resembling 'ancient woodland'. I'd be interested to know the real answer as I want to do something similar on a very small scale locally.

Offline mikem

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2021, 06:37:32 pm »
Well, a few hundred years down the line it'll be a suitable replacement, but something is better than nothing!

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2021, 06:57:52 pm »
I suppose you could innoculate sapling roots with mycorrhizal fungi spores to get a head start? Maybe they do that?

Offline mikem

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2021, 07:42:51 pm »
Britain is now thought to have been more parkland than woodland, as we had various large herbivores & browsers before humans arrived.

Offline NeilC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2021, 08:27:22 pm »

Yes. There was a segment on the news a few weeks ago with a senior lady from The Woodland Trust. The presenter made a comment along the lines of 'HS2 is obviously cutting down a lot of trees that won't be replaced', to which the lady agreed and supported (I forget the exact words). But that is complete bollocks.

https://www.therailwayhub.co.uk/49807/hs2-set-to-reach-730000-planted-trees-milestone-by-spring-2021/

What she should have said was either 'I don't know if that is true or not', or 'that is not true - HS2 will plant far more trees than they cut down. We would prefer them not to be cut down in the first place but increasing the overall woodland cover is far better than doing nothing at all'.

So a few million viewers will take a negative view of HS2 because a lady with gravitas has just lied to them all to suit their political agenda.

It's thanks to cretins like that that HS2 is costing a million pounds a bloody meter!! They would have all of us living in caves if they could. Certainly they never would have allowed our civilisation to have reached the current point, what with transportation and housing and such like.

I'd be inclined to support them if they were concerned with planting trees, but as soon as you step into 'anti' territory, no thanks!

Chris.

Well I didn't see the piece in question, and by your own admission, you can't remember the exact words, but the Trust's website makes it very clear that it is the destruction of ancient woodland that it is opposed to, rather than HS2 per se (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/protecting-trees-and-woods/campaign-with-us/hs2-rail-link/).  Indeed, the Government's own planning guidance describes ancient woodland as an 'irreplaceable habitat' (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ancient-woodland-and-veteran-trees-protection-surveys-licences).  (As an aside, the term 'ancient woodland' is a statutory designation, not merely an emotive term used by the WT and others to suit a political agenda.)  To state that HS2 will 'plant far more trees than they cut down' is an irrelevant straw man.

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2021, 09:48:59 pm »

Well I didn't see the piece in question, and by your own admission, you can't remember the exact words, but the Trust's website makes it very clear that it is the destruction of ancient woodland that it is opposed to, rather than HS2 per se (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/protecting-trees-and-woods/campaign-with-us/hs2-rail-link/).  Indeed, the Government's own planning guidance describes ancient woodland as an 'irreplaceable habitat' (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ancient-woodland-and-veteran-trees-protection-surveys-licences).  (As an aside, the term 'ancient woodland' is a statutory designation, not merely an emotive term used by the WT and others to suit a political agenda.)  To state that HS2 will 'plant far more trees than they cut down' is an irrelevant straw man.

If an ancient woodland habitat is irreplaceable, why are there so many SSSI's on post industrial sites? You can't move for falling over some statuary designation on a piece of land that was a hive of industry 150 years ago.

You only have to go looking for old mines to see how nature rapidly takes over as soon as human beings leave it alone. Even without management plans and planting schemes!

Or when humans make something completely new like Rutland Water, no doubt an outrage of chopping down ancient forests, but now a haven for wildlife (since 1969)

So "To state that HS2 will 'plant far more trees than they cut down' is an irrelevant straw man." is not a straw man. Nature always comes back if left to its own devices.

More trees = more nature, in time.

Chris.
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Online RobinGriffiths

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2021, 11:23:50 pm »
What type of figure are you apportionating to 'in time' ? If it's of the order of hundreds of years, then the denizens of the original ecosystem are toast unless they have convenient islands to jump to. Post industrial sites generally start with scrub, brambles, rosebay willowherb, valerian, maybe buddleia if near ex railway lines, then probably birch, possibly ash next. Good for some insects, small mammals and birds, but it'll be nothing like, say an oak or beech woodland with rotten trunks, moss, ferns, lichen, fungi, slime moulds and the like. On the plus side, ash does rot like buggery.

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2021, 07:16:55 am »
I'd go for 100-150 years. Which isn't long. Probably less in most cases.

Looking for old abandoned mines generally involves hacking through the most extraordinary plant growth.

Which leads me to the empirical conclusion that nature always wins, and nature always comes back very quickly as well. Certainly my experiences are at odds with the hyperbole you get of destruction and cataclysm etc when somebody wants to build something new.

Look at Chernobyl!, a wildlife haven in spite of the minor radiation issue.

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Offline mikem

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2021, 08:05:09 am »
Abandoned mine sites tend to be great for wildlife in the medium term, but often mature into something less productive because there are no large mammals tending the environment (like bison etc would have done after the ice age).

HS2 is so expensive because there's already far too much infrastructure in the SE, that it has to work around.

Offline alanw

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2021, 08:29:28 am »
Abandoned mine sites tend to be great for wildlife in the medium term, but often mature into something less productive because there are no large mammals tending the environment (like bison etc would have done after the ice age).

That reminds me of another regular task I did with the conservation volunteers. The Devil's Dyke[1] north of Cambridge is an SSSI and an SAC. It's chalk grassland, supporting, amongst other flora,  pasqueflowers. It used to be grazed by sheep, but that became uneconomical, it's over 11km long but only about 40m wide. We used to go and mow the banks (tricky on such a steep slope) and rake the grass into the ditch, to keep hawthorn, etc from growing and turning into scrubland.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Dyke,_Cambridgeshire

Offline kay

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2021, 08:40:18 am »

If an ancient woodland habitat is irreplaceable, why are there so many SSSI's on post industrial sites? You can't move for falling over some statuary designation on a piece of land that was a hive of industry 150 years ago.


Really?  ;D

 
Quote
Nature always comes back if left to its own devices.


“Nature” isn’t a single indivisible thing. It’s made up of millions of species, which are becoming extinct at a rate unknown since the demise of the dinosaurs, largely as a result of our activities.

By the way, you referred to the Woodland Trust as “political”. Is this on the basis that it is trying to improve some aspect of life? Isn’t this a rather wide definition of “political”?

Offline mikem

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2021, 08:46:36 am »
Really?  ;D
It does depend what part of the country you are in...

Online RobinGriffiths

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2021, 09:44:03 am »
Looking for old abandoned mines generally involves hacking through the most extraordinary plant growth.

That'll be those brambles - a typical pioneer species.

Offline Jim MacPherson

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2021, 09:56:47 am »
Be a shame should the "pioneer" species end up being himalayan balsam and/or japanese knotweed for example.

And should the Woodland Trust want some (cheap) ash seedlings I can pretty well guarantee 50 of the little devils every year, they don't take this die-back fungus at all seriously in these here parts

Jim

Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2021, 03:28:30 pm »

If an ancient woodland habitat is irreplaceable, why are there so many SSSI's on post industrial sites?


A site being designated as SSSI is complete separate from a piece of land being designated as "ancient woodland" although ancient woodland may also be an SSSI

Pridhamsleigh Cavern (and lots more caves) is SSSI which has nothing to do with the wood on the surface. https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1001878&SiteName=pridhamsleigh&countyCode=&responsiblePerson=&SeaArea=&IFCAArea=

"Description and Reasons for Notification:
This is one of three networks of cave passages in separate limestone outcrops around
Buckfastleigh. Detailed study has shown that the three networks developed over the same
time-span during the late Pleistocene period of Geological history about 150,000 years ago.
Furthermore, stages in the development of the caves can be related to stages in the development
of the valley of the River Dart. Accumulations of debris washed into the caves during their
formation contain important fossil remains which give indication of the age of the caves. The
caves also contain important and spectacular mineral deposits.
Pridhamsleigh Caves are important as a site for the endemic crustacean Niphargus glennei
which is abundant in the cave waters. This animal is thought to be a pre-glacial relict."

Ancient woodland is defined by the Government as "It’s any area that’s been wooded continuously since at least 1600 AD. It includes:"   https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ancient-woodland-and-veteran-trees-protection-surveys-licences

" You cannot move an ancient woodland ecosystem because:
it’s not possible to replicate the same conditions at another site
it’s no longer an ancient woodland"


Ancient woodland is deemed to be irreplaceable because one of the things that happens in an ancient wood is the growth of fungus the largest "spanning an area of 3.5 square miles (2,200 acres; 9.1 km2). This organism is estimated to be some 8,000 years old and may weigh as much as 35,000 tons. If this colony is considered a single organism, it is the largest known organism in the world by area"  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armillaria_ostoyae#:~:text=A%20mushroom%20of%20this%20type,as%20much%20as%2035%2C000%20tons.
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Offline alanw

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2021, 02:02:15 pm »
I'm now sad that despite a thorough search, my copy of Dr. Rackham's book "Ancient Woodland" seems to have gone missing in a house move.

And 5 days later, 4 years after they were packed away, two of his books have turned up (I'd misremembered what I had), hidden at the bottom of a box of 25mm slides.


 

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