I have been quiet on the blog over the past couple of weeks. Although trying and having to rest from campaigning in an attempt help my health recoup something during a horrible MEcfs relapse. And really having no alternative. Issues arise which can’t be ignored.
The current issue being.
We are experiencing unprecedented temperatures here in the UK at the moment. With the situation in parts of Europe even worse. London firefighters had the busiest day yesterday since the second World War. And people think its just a bit warm and what is all the fuss about! Wrong!
Fire Crews Attended
On July 10th the woodland here, itself and its inhabitants already under stress from being in the middle of a development site, caught alight. Fire crews reached the scene only to find access obstructed and a lack of water source. Causing them to have to cut site posts and go to and fro to a local shopping centre to refill their water supplies.
Six fire crews spent over six hours bringing the fire under control, and have had to attend several times since. Sadly in addition, some thought it a good idea to set a deliberate fire, which has smouldered for days. We’re praying for rain. Which are warned may result in floods.
We are all so incredibly grateful to the dedication and diligence of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Fire Fighting crews. Who have been working in the most awful conditions to protect and save a wood, that often feels some parties care little about.
You possibly sense frustration. You would be right. As a community we raise concern after concern. And yet reach no satisfactory conclusion on anything. Deflected and ignored. I even had an email row with our local MP this week. I finally had to say ‘Look, I don’t have the energy for this endless dialogue. Please just act and communicate that action’. I don’t relish the thought of needing to call out paramedics again or Epi because questions won’t be answered and I am further worn out by the seemingly endless brick walls. And it is wearing.
Should I just ignore it all and do a jigsaw puzzle instead? I simply cannot.
Community Coming Together
What do we do? Campaigners are thought badly of, an annoyance, a thoughtless inconvenience, delusional, out of touch. As our local areas continue to degrade and yet more habitat is lost. Permanently!
I continue the fight. I continue to encourage local community involvement. And numbers are growing, and quickly. We all try to engage with decision makers, those involed etc. But oh my goodness is it an uphill struggle. Why do so many in positions of authority and decision making appear to ignore the glaring fact that we have no Planet B. And that PR companies are employed to reel out the same trope. How do they sleep at night!!
What Will Be Done?
I have received assurances that site contractors are now working to help fire crews by removing posts and wire fencing and moving huge earth piles, to enable swift access for fire crews. And for water bowswers on site to be set at full capacity. Why was this not thought about in the planning process? When we are given meaningless reassurances about ecology being cared about.
I miraculously managed to secure this information because the developer’s PR person whom I usually communicate with was out of office. So I actually received some detail for a change! I am in the scheme of things seen as a nobody. But a nobody who cares!
So that is the current status. I hope I can report on more positive news soon. Watching a Wood from a distance, knowing ground water is being pumped out from it continually while it intermittently burns, and whilst knowing there are wildlife trying to survive there is utterly utterly horrifying.
The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.Jane Goodall
Have a blessed day⚘
Postscript: I have received a confirmation from our MP’s House of Commons caseworker that the surrounding farmland will be ploughed and a firebreak put in place as soon as possible. We alwas used to have a firebreak maintained by the farmer.
I am assured, as a strategy to protect local residents and the local environment. Which is critical. Wording which was surprising considering the argument that had developed. I hope far greater protection is afforded the wood and that this measure will proactively help reduce the occurence of fires.
Voices do matter. Use them!