Archive of Lost Woods

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Posted on February 2, 2020

The morning started with tears.

It all comes down to a mouse.

A single mouse that lives in an elm tree, and pops its head up and scrurries away down the trunk as you pass. It’s nest is made of moss and feathers gathered from the woodland floor; and it’s home, the elm tree, roots itself deep in a system of soil and fungi that has grown and become enriched, year on year, for hundreds of years. Around it, wrens, robins and blue tits chatter. Above it, sparrow hawks and buzzards claim the sky.


The mouse has no chance. When the men and the bulldozers and the chainsaws come, where will it go? Where will its family go, its cousins, and all the other small creatures that live in the soil and in the trees? They cannot fly - yet even the birds who can fly away … where will they go? To another depleted patch of woodland where there are already nests and territories, and competition for food?

It was perhaps foolish to hold on to hope despite all the signs that the #HS2 review would recommend the project should go ahead. Nevertheless, we did - you have to, until the very, very last minute.


So we were devastated to hear this morning (January 31, 2020) that Glyn Davies wood, with its aspens, elms, birch trees, oaks, hazels, hawthorns and rowans, and all its little mice, and its birds, and the spiders that weave their magic day after day, and the busy wealth of life, is due to be cut through. It’s the wood we spent a great deal of time in last year when we worked with Woodland Trust to protest against the route of HS2. And we visited several others, where the trees and creatures are different, but the story is the same. There will be huge, huge loss. And what is lost is irreplaceable.

‘… when the line is drawn
when all is gone
marks are all that’s left, scrapings
in the soil, writing on a page,
snapshots on a screen

in a single generation
fading memories will be blurred
into the mass extinction

each woodland wound
a silent gape of loss

each woodland saved
a noisy wealth of life’

After hope is dashed, what action can be taken? We will pick ourselves up and continue to take a stand in whatever way we can.

in this one shared world
beneath a single sky
for life


To find out more about our work, the Archive of Lost Woods, go to the project page here

To follow the campaign and other work from the Woodland Trust, visit their site here


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