You will remember the fiasco I wrote about last Autumn, of Berrier End Farm in Cumbria. This was about 100 acres of valuable wildlife habitat, including large areas of peat bog and wildlife-rich grassland, which was damaged by tree-planting, that had been approved and paid for by the state environmental body, The Forestry Commission.
Following the outrage about this case the Forestry Commission finally admitted it had made a mistake and claimed (in the letters page of Private Eye, no less) that it was working with the landowner to restore 8ha of priority habitat. The fact that there was 17 or 18ha of priority habitat on the site which had been damaged, not 8ha, seemed to have passed the FC by.
So you might think that the restoration work has proceeded, and the damage, particularly to the large area of deep peat bog in the centre of the site had been rectified.
I’ve just been sent some photos of the site from a local resident.
I honestly can’t say I can see any significant restoration work having been done. The peat plough lines are still there, bleeding the bog dry. The trees are still there. The evidence of tree pits is clear.
It seems that despite the FC’s claims before Christmas, the site is as it was.
No restoration has taken place. Perhaps they are waiting for the ground to dry out.