Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct

This is on the advertising leaflet but does not appear to be on the web.

 

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2xw

Active member
Judi Durber said:
This is on the advertising leaflet but does not appear to be on the web.


This looks good if they plant trees up the cloughs. It'll keep any peat from sloughing off the edge of the fell above and benefit them too
 

ChrisJC

Well-known member
2xw said:
Hope you enjoyed my opinionated rant!

I did! I just regret I won't have time to read all of your references in the detail that they deserve. But you make your point very well which I like.

I think we are agreed that whatever way you look at it, this project is to replace one artificial landscape with another.

Chris.
 

ChrisJC

Well-known member
kay said:
?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.
 

alanw

Well-known member
Another misconception is that "Ancient Woodland" is untouched by humans. I've spent many hours, as a leader of a Cambridge BTCV working party in Hayley Wood[1], wielding a bowsaw or billhook. Some of them were in the company of Oliver Rackham[2]. Coppicing the hazel on a 17 year cycle continued a centuries old tradition and maintained an environment for much rare flora and fauna. On one visit at dawn in spring, we heard a nightingale singing in the hazel we'd coppiced a few years earlier.

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.

[1] https://www.wildlifebcn.org/nature-reserves/hayley-wood
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Rackham
 

NeilC

New member
ChrisJC said:
kay said:
?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). 
 

ChrisJC

Well-known member
NeilC said:
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.

Chris.
 

mikem

Well-known member
"forever" can be any period longer than that person's lifetime (or a much shorter timeframe in the case of teenagers)
 

AR

Well-known member
ChrisJC said:
... 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"...
 

NeilC

New member
ChrisJC said:
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?
 

ChrisJC

Well-known member
NeilC said:
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!

Chris.
 

Speleofish

Active member
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.
 

mikem

Well-known member
Well, a few hundred years down the line it'll be a suitable replacement, but something is better than nothing!
 

mikem

Well-known member
Britain is now thought to have been more parkland than woodland, as we had various large herbivores & browsers before humans arrived.
 

NeilC

New member
ChrisJC said:
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.
 

ChrisJC

Well-known member
NeilC said:
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.
 

RobinGriffiths

Well-known member
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.
 

ChrisJC

Well-known member
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.

Chris.
 

mikem

Well-known member
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.
 
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