17 June 2007

Sea wall in Surrey

Did you know that there is a sea wall in the heart of Surrey? Probably, not. But there is and Mrs Grumble quite often goes for a walk past it. It's on Hankley Common which is Ministry of Defence land. You can walk there but occasionally you get a bit of a shock when you suddenly notice soldiers with blackened faces spying on you from the bushes. Sometimes Mrs Grumble's dog flushes them out. Dogs are good at that. The army could put them to good use. Perhaps they do. There haven't been that many soldiers recently. It seems they are all busy elsewhere.

In the Lion's Mouth, hidden amongst some silver birches, is the Atlantic wall. Dr Grumble used to wonder what this structure was. Then, in 2003, a plaque appeared.

It turns out that the wall was built by Canadian troops in preparation for the D-Day landings. Below is a snap, taken this morning, of one end of the wall. It's difficult to show the scale and length of the structure in a photograph.

The idea, of course, was to test methods of breaching the wall. You can still see the holes they made.
You can read more about Surrey's sea wall here.

26 May 2007

Mrs Grumble Eco Warrior

Bulldozed by the RSPB

It's a larch!

Before the RSPB felled a single tree Dr Grumble went on a walk around the Bourne 'Woods' with Mike Coates the project manager in charge. He was reassured. He shouldn't have been.

The RSPB don't care about trees. They are an organisation for birds. Mrs Grumble used to be a member but she cancelled her membership when she saw what was happening in the local woods. But first she wrote to the RSPB. They were arrogantly dismissive. So Mrs Grumble wrote to the local newspaper. They didn't publish her letter. So she wrote to the Forestry Commission who know about trees. Waste of time - thought Dr Grumble. But it wasn't. Not at all.

According to the Farnham Herald (there's no link available yet) nearly two hectares of larch trees were felled by the RSPB. They report that the Forestry Commission was informed that felling had been undertaken in excess of the licence. The Forestry Commission has now served a formal enforcement notice on the RSPB under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. This will require them to put back the trees they chopped down. But it's not the same.

Mrs Grumble has never received an apology from the RSPB - she just had that dismissive letter.

Bluebells in the woods the RSPB own - but for how long?

Many of you will have seen the Bourne Woods on the big screen. Gladiator was filmed there.

03 December 2006

The RSPB in the Bourne Woods

Mrs Grumble was in tears today. The RSPB have cut down the larch trees she used to make a point of visiting every spring. They want to recreate the heath. Nothing wrong with that really but they could have spared the larches.

At the moment the Bourne Woods, which soon will no longer be woods, look as if a tsunami has hit them. Odd silver birches have been left standing which just add to the look of devastation. If they were going to leave any trees why not the copse of larches. Silver birches are the first trees to recolonise anyway. It's crazy leaving these rather pathetic dismal specimens.

Mrs Grumble can't show you a picture of a larch because they have cut them all down. They are deciduous anyway so there would not be much to photograph at this time of year.