UK: Destroyed lands need to be ‘restored’ to the original state of destroyedness?

I never cease to be amazed at how western mind can find so much virtue
in being caustic and hurtful towards an ecosystem. What’s even more
amazing is how often they claim that destroyed lands need to be
‘restored’ to the original state of destroyedness. It’s as if nature’s
natural way of forest recovery and soil replenishment is a disease?
And with deforestation rates in the UK as high as all the other world’s major
deforesters, it’s almost as if the disease of a lack of destroyedness
is clearing up? And from this insane frame of ‘caretaking’ is it any
wonder that attitudes like the one presented below still exist?
–Editor, Forest Policy Research

Concern stems from the felling of sycamores around Ilkley Tarn as part
of Bradford Council’s efforts to manage the moorland landscape.
Several were cut down recently, along with unwanted Christmas trees
which had started to flourish on the moor after a local person chose
to plant them there. A further cull of ‘scrubby’ trees close to
Cowpasture Road is now planned, despite concern from some countryside

Mr Wells insists the growth of trees needs to be restricted
as, if left to nature, the landmark moor would eventually become a
large wood. “If Ilkley Moor was left to its own devices over the next
100 years, it would first become scrub and then an oak and ash
woodland,” he said. “There would be no Ilkley Moor, there would
instead be an Ilkley Forest.” Heather moorland is a scarce type of
landscape, added Mr Wells, with around 90 per cent of the world’s
heather moorland being in the British Isles.

As woodland is a more
common type of landscape, those who manage Ilkley Moor are committed
to preserving the rarer moorland environment. Removing some of the
trees, he said, will allow other specimens to grow more healthily and
give unrestricted views up to the Cow and Calf rocks. Three fine
examples of horse chestnuts were earmarked for the chop after it was
found they were infected with bleeding canker, a disease that has
started to strike trees in the valley recently.

“It’s a very great  shame, but the whole idea was to open up the tarn and give much better
views,” said Mr Wells. Sycamore trees which were ‘almost falling into
the tarn’ were also targeted, he said, to stop the stench of decaying
vegetation from leaves which had dropped into the water.

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Comments (1)

Mark FisherMarch 24th, 2009 at 3:48 am

The one thing that is rare on Ilkley Moor is any sense of natural wildness. Its a heathland monoculture that is destined to remain that way now because of the the habitat designations for upland birds, but was “created” in the interests of sheep grazing and game shooting. Its a desolate place, only leavened by the few trees planted around the northern periphery, and some natural regeneration.

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