Warwickshire's changing landscape - CPRE

11:02 21 July 2010

Polesworth Abbey

Polesworth Abbey

The proposed high speed rail link has focused attention on the damage to the Warwickshire countryside.

Up and down the centuries the ordinary man has been at the mercy of the endless changes wrought to the landscape. The changes continue, as they always will, but now, happily, everyone is free to speak his mind and take a small, but effective part in resisting or planning them.
These reflections are prompted by a book I have been reading, Warwickshire Landscapes, The Story so Far, an exhaustive physical history of this county, written by Mick Jeffs, a member of our local CPRE team and a Warwickshire man born and bred. His book, a labour of love written from a wide knowledge including a career in local government, is beautifully presented and illustrated. If you would like a copy visit www.shaybooks.co.uk
The author, by the by, is in favour of high speed rail, but he is of the firm opinion that we must find a better route than the one proposed.



To contact the Campaign to Protect Rural England phone 01926 494597 or visit www.cprewarwickshire.org.uk

The Warwickshire Council for the Protection of Rural England recently held its AGM. A talk on high speed rail provoked long and lively debate. Was the proposed route the best? Should the line not run alongside main roads? But this would use even more land. The dead space between road and rail? Can we afford it? With clogged up roads and air pollution, can we not afford it?
We, and many other groups and individuals, particularly the HS2 Action Alliance, want to know exactly where this railway line goes, if at all. Major changes to the landscape concern everyone.
How recently, how very recently, has this democratic right been established?
Throw your mind back to the coming of the railways and the countless acres of farmland they swallowed up. Many were dismayed, but who could challenge this radical social development?
A century ago trains left Rugby in nine different directions. Now, only four are left. The lines that went south to London, north to Sheffield, Leicester and the Midlands, and west to Leamington Spa are memories. No doubt many people hated their arrival and as many vainly grieved when the Beeching axe fell on them.
We are concerned at the loss of hedgerows, that small fields are becoming vast prairies. But what were the feelings of those countrymen living from the end of the 15th to the mid-19th centuries who had their rights to graze their cows and sheep on open land taken away when that land was enclosed?
Throw your mind back further. There were once 20 abbeys, monasteries and priories in this county. What hands were raised to protest against their dissolution, plunder and aggrandisement by rich, greedy men, and the end of the social life that went with them? Protest was worse than futile; it was death.
But consider the plight of those who lived when the monastic way of life was created, in the 12th and 13th centuries. What redress was given to the inhabitants of Cryfield, the village demolished to make way for Stoneleigh Abbey, or the settlements of Upper and Lower Smite who were displaced by Coombe Abbey?

0 comments

More from Out & About

Friday, April 17, 2015
The Old Town clean-up team

Sarah Windrum was inspired to help clean up Leamington’s Old Town, giving the area some much needed TLC

Read more
Friday, April 17, 2015
Broadacre Open Gardens

Broadacre, a beautiful private estate near Solihull opens its garden gates for the National Garden Scheme on the 19th April 2015

Read more
Monday, March 30, 2015
Easter Bunny / Photo: Africa Studio

As spring arrives on our doorsteps gilding the grass with daffodils, Easter comes with it. As usual, there’s plenty to keep the family busy in and around the Cotswolds; here is our pick of 15 Easter events to get you out and about!

Read more
Monday, March 23, 2015
Dinmore Manor locomotive at Toddington Station, Gloucestershire

While on work experience with Cotswold Life, Amy Woolridge of Cleeve School enjoyed a day out at Toddington as part of Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s Tourism Day

Read more
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Want to know where to go once the days’s action during Cheltenham Race Week has come to a close? To make sure you are at the liveliest party in town we have rounded up six of the best pubs and bars offering live music, so you can carry on partying once you have left Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Snowdrops flowering in the garden

Enjoy the beautiful snowdrops at Hill Close Gardens in Warwick during the February half term.

Read more
Monday, February 2, 2015
A typical laminic stance, with the pony trying to get his weight off the front feet / Image from the Three Counties Equine Hospital

The equine condition laminitis is common and frustrating to treat, says Debbie Graham.Veterinary surgeon Jess Hill offers advice on how to spot the symptoms, and what course of action to choose for your pony.

Read more
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Phoenix Festival, Cirencester

‘Love the Phoenix’ this Valentine’s Day by showing support for Cirencester’s fantastic youth- and community-led Phoenix Festival!

Read more
Monday, January 26, 2015
Johnny Cash, performed by Clive John

What’s on at The Roses, including: music from young talent Laura Van Der Heijden, a celebration of country legend Johnny Cash, performances by fictional singer and organist John Shuttleworth and an entertaining take on life at a modern comprehensive in Teechers

Read more
Friday, January 23, 2015
Gloucester Cajun and Zydeco Festival 2015

Don’t let the chilly weather keep you stuck at home this weekend; here are five events happening in and around the Cotswolds to get you out and about.

Read more
Monday, January 12, 2015
Broadway under snow

Drum roll, please… we’re happy to announce the winners of the annual Cotswolds Tourism Awards

Read more
Friday, December 19, 2014
P

Stuck for ideas for someone who loves sport and being active? Try these for size...

Read more
Monday, December 15, 2014
The winner of the adult section is Richard Brown with his photography of the elusive clouded leopard

There were over 500 entries to the Cotswold Wildlife Park 2014 Photo Competition, with the short-list judged by a professional photographer. Click the gallery to see a selection of the submissions...

Read more
Monday, December 1, 2014
Keith Bond (left) and Chris ‘Prich’ Prichard (right) front with other members of Stratford-upon-Avon Sub Aqua Club

The club, which is a branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), has just marked its 40th anniversary with a club dinner for all members to enjoy.

Read more

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP



Warwickshire's trusted business finder

subscription ad

subscription ad