Azara Blog: Cambridge City Council butchers Byron's Pool area

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Date published: 2008/12/07

Like all organisations, Cambridge City Council wastes an inordinate amount of money publishing propaganda which it sends to its citizens. One such example is a newsletter called Cambridge Matters, for which the Winter 2008 edition has just landed on doorsteps around the city. This newletter consists mainly of patronising advice about recycling and being "green". (Of course, not publishing the newsletter would be very green, but do not expect the city bureaucrats to follow their own advice.) (There as yet seems to be no online version of this particular newsletter. The Cambridge Matters website points to an alleged archive but the link is broken.)

In this issue the bureaucrats tell us that:

73 non-native trees are being removed from Byron's Pool Local Nature Reserve. Removing the Sycamores and Horse Chestnuts which obstruct navigation of the River Cam and cause severe shading of the river will benefit wildlife such as Chubb, a fish which breeds in the river. Ellis Selway, Nature Conservation Officer, said "All of the trees felled will be replaced with more favourable tree species such as the Black Poplar (Populus nigra betulifolia) which is Britain's rarest native tree."

Look, if for some reason a few trees are allegedly impeding navigation on the river, fine and well. (Although the river at this point is really just for punting from Cambridge to Grantchester and so serves no real navigational purpose.) But it's unbelievable that 73 trees really needed to be killed in this way. Horse Chestnuts have been in Britain since before 1600, and Sycamores if anything even earlier. They are native in all but name. And is there any evidence that Black Poplar actually ever was growing (in the past N hundred years) in this particular location? It is unbelievable how much time and effort is spent by people who allegedly are interested in Nature trying to destroy Nature. For some reason humans have this deep need to always play God, rather than let Nature take its course. It's not so bad if people play God on their own property with their own money. Here unfortunately the taxpayer is being forced to pay for this wanton destruction.

Update: photographs of the destruction.

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