Saturday, 11 March 2017


Thoughts arising from Eastern Moors tree plantings and impacts on the view. The awkward question is about how things harmonise with the landscape and the view.

It's common to hear people to tell you that any sensitivities about what looks good or 'right' in a view is all a matter of  personal  preference and there's no absolute criteria.

The trouble with the charge of subjectivity is that it's so often used to close down any discussion. Things are rarely as simple as "You like that, but I like this". Opinions change and attitudes develop.

So the farmer who said "I like open landscapes" after I brought up the lack of trees expected that to be a final word. It was never going to be a long discussion so I concluded with "You want this, I want that, we'll never agree so why not let nature decide?"

Of course someone whose livelihood and that of his family was built on hundreds of years of sheep farming won't have the same perspective on landscape. In another context the 19th century owners of dark satanic mills and steel works might have seen beauty in the factories and smoke of old Manchester and Sheffield. I' m sure some of them did. And those who love drystone walls especially those whose job if is to build them wont necessarily agree with my comments here. Some of us will accept all sorts of intrusions in the environment if it pays us well enough.

But back to the Eastern Moors and their tree planting. The plastic tube protectors can be seen from a far distance and it would be inconsistent not to have reservations when I've complained about gates, walls, barbed wire fences and many other things that have arisen from the decision to go in for farm management instead of running a proper nature reserve.  And even when I've argued that there should be far more trees planted to return the moors to a more wild and natural state, the question has to be posed how you go about it. Obviously it would have been better if management in the last, say thirty years had removed grazing and allowed trees to come back naturally. What's happening now in this small area is trying to short cut what would happen anyway.

The problem now is that wild animals in the shape of deer will be tempted to browse the tops of young trees. Sheep are excluded with fencing though it's possible that escapers will get into this section. The tubes may protect the youngest growth but what happens when the top of the tube is reached? This must have been thought of. Meanwhile has any thought gone into lessening the visual impact of plastic tubes? Can you get green or brown ones? Presumably no light would penetrate.

No comments: