'Having just come back from expedition jetlagged and pushed for time, I thought adding eight extra pages to Descent would be the best way to get back into the swing of things. I hope you'll all find that the extra hours were well spent'.
2xw said:Hope you enjoyed my opinionated rant!
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.
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.
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).
NeilC said:Do you have any specific examples?
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.
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!
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.