Google Earth view of Sandleford Park, which inspired the novel Watership Down.
In the classic novel, Watership Down, rabbits must flee their countryside home to make way for a new housing development. Now, the land that inspired author Richard Adams’ much-beloved mythic tale is slated to bulldozed for 2,000 new homes. Located in the UK county of Berkshire, near the town of Newbury, the land in question is known as Sandleford Park.
The West Berkshire Council voted 33 to 12 to approve the housing project on the land, saying that it was needed to build 10,500 homes to cater to an increasing population. The housing will cover land that is currently a mix of agriculture, ancient woods, and open park space.
“I am absolutely incensed and horrified by what the council have done,” Richard Adams, now 90, told the Daily Mail.
An organization called Say No to Sandleford is hoping to stop the construction. On its website it notes, “this is just about the last chance to stop Sandleford Park from being covered in concrete.” The organization also says there are other options nearby for additional housing developments.
The new housing development still has to be approved by a Planning Inspector.
(02/17/2011) The British government, headed by Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, has tossed out a controversial proposal to sell off significant sections of its forest to the private sector. The plan came under relentless criticism, including 500,000 people who signed a petition against the proposal, and brought together a wide variety of British notables such as actress Dame Judi Dench, poet Carol Anne Duffy, and the Archbishop of Canterbury to oppose the government’s plan.
(02/15/2011) I confess that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal to auction off all 650,000 acres of England’s national forests to the highest bidder came as a bit of a shock to me – especially as the contained such world-famous national treasures as Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest, the Forest of Dean and the New Forest. Although warned by my Irish mother that Tories can never be trusted, Mr. Cameron’s passionate pledge to deliver the “greenest government ever” seemed sincere, especially given his ambitious plans to cut Britain’s pollution. Anyway, even if he turned out to be as slippery as his predecessors, his deep green Liberal Democratic coalition partners would, I thought, keep the planet high on his priority list.
(02/09/2011) At an EU meeting in Brussels, dubbed the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit, the UK’s Prince Charles made the case that without healthy ecosystems, the global economy will suffer.