These fields are not mine. I shall never own
A square inch of this land: I cannot claim
A single blade of grass, the smallest stone;
I’ve no leaf, branch or flower to my name.
I have no influence, no right to choose
Its destiny. It’s not for me to say
What happens here: the great and good will use
It as they please. It’s theirs to take away.
But when it goes – and go it will – a part
Of me will vanish too. I will not die
Yet I shall live a little less; my heart
Squeezed like a fist, my days one long goodbye.
No violence involved, no gun or knife.
But in their robbery, they’ll take a life.
The district council has presented plans for 1,000 (yes, that’s one-and-three-zeroes) new houses, plus factory units and a school, on greenfield land surrounding our ancient woodlands. It will increase the town’s population by 20%, bring our already struggling infrastructure to a standstill, and completely fill in the long view to the South Downs we presently enjoy from the playing fields. We’ve made vigorous representations, of course, but all the signs are that THEY – who, needless to say, don’t live, walk their dogs or raise their children here – will have their way. What can you do? N.