Over the years the landscape on Bickerton Hill has developed into a pleasant mix of woodland and heath, writes Tony Ord, from Bickerton Hill Friends group.
The woodland has matured with a tracery of footpaths opening into glades of heather and bilberry, creating a very pleasant landscape for walkers to enjoy and children to explore and a wonderful diversity of habitats for the many birds, mammals, reptiles and insects that live on the Hill
Where there is open heathland, the landscape has been enriched by interesting groups of trees, particularly the solitary specimen birches, known to generations of children as the ‘picnic trees’ or ‘good trees to climb’ and much loved by visitors for their aesthetic beauty in all seasons.
This is how it was on Bickerton Hill until last Autumn when a the National Trust and Natural England decided to change it all, in, what they claim to be, the National interest, thereby realising their vision of a treeless Bronze Age landscape of 3,000 years ago!
With a grant of £325,000, most of the woodland from the top of the Hill has been cut down, as have treasured and skyline trees, with no consideration for their landscape value, or for the generations of Hill users and children who have grown to love them and enjoy their beauty.
Familiar woodland walks are now a bare landscape, scarred by heavy industrial plant, tracked vehicles and tractors, which have churned up the fragile soil and destroyed plants and any hibernating creatures.
There are still some birch trees and areas of woodland left on the Hill and if we want them to remain we must make it known to the National Trust that we don’t want them to cut any more trees down.
“The National Trust claims to have had nothing but support for the felling, which is contrary to opinions being expressed by most people who have witnessed it.
If you are concerned about the future of Bickerton Hill, please come to a
public meeting at Bickerton Village Hall on Thursday 19th March at 7.30pm. Admission is free, refreshments available.
A short slide presentation about the Hill will show what has been lost and what can be saved. It will be an opportunity for local people and Hill visitors to meet and exchange views.
The National Trust’s intention to fence and graze sheep will affect dog walkers.The National Trust will be invited to answer questions.
If you have any comments to make about what the National Trust have done, send them an email at email@example.com Please make sure you copy your email to firstname.lastname@example.org