I Set off across the fields opposite our house on the morning wander with Spot. Normally this takes the form of me following Spot for an hour or so then plotting a route back to base and a nice cup of coffee. Today, however was different! The field look different! On closer inspection a large chunk of land (about 50 acres) that had been ploughed and harrowed over the last few weeks, now looked like it had been rolled with a heavy roller.
In fact a chap on a large John Deere tractor was indeed rolling it with a large heavy roller.
Ilene, the woman who keeps her horses in the next field to Jan said she had seen this big machine rattle and bang slowly across the fields with what looked like a big hedge stacked on top of it. The penny dropped! The fields had been planted with willow!
We already had two fields planted in willow last year so I knew what it looked like, so a quick kick at the ground revealed a 4 inch piece of willow pushed in the ground.
I don't know if you know about willow, but any piece of fresh cut willow pushed into the ground will root and grow into a tree. The machine they use takes long thin willow sticks and cuts them into 4 inch bits and pokes them into the ground, job done.
The instigator of this act is
. They plant the
willow to coppice and burn in the green
heating system for the terminal buildings. East Midlands
|Area of Willow Plantation|
The planting of willow coppice in Castle Donington is ironic because 200 years ago Castle Donington was famous for its osier beds (willow plantations), which were used for basket making. Back then folk had the good sense to grow the osiers down by the river on the poor soil where nothing else will grow, and use the good soil, on the well draining sandstone for crops. In fact this area was also famous for it market gardening because of the good soil.
Today, all the small market gardens have gone, driven out of business by the low prices of the supermarkets selling imports, however the good soil was still used for growing wheat, barley, beans, and rape.
This week 50 more acres of prime agricultural land stopped producing food to produce "green" fuel. At the same time our government tell me that they need to build a distribution centre on another 100 acres of prime agricultural land in the next village to distribute the imported food we need because we don't grow the stuff locally any more.
Is it just me or is this an example of the complete lack of common sense?