- A Destructive Practice of Ignorance For Ever More Land, Sheep, and Payments...
Drainage? - What Drainage?
- Following on from the destruction of a valuable wildlife wetland habitat and a vitally important floodplain soakaway, not to mention the half-witted attempt to recreate a more acceptable, more manageable, version (read: as much usable acreage as possible gouged out of the available space, and to hell with the consequences, whilst claiming everything we can in the way of CAP payments
) we have now arrived at the inevitable result:
As the drainage ditches were according to Ordnance Survey map and Land Registry data (top two images, with detail and important tributaries as shown on the second):
As the drainage ditches were prior to the Great Destruction
: before the 'farmers' took it upon themselves to destroy this fenland habitat): in a cross pattern to mid-way down the field area, with two broken leg pattern channels to the river and a separate 'sickle' drainage channel also adjoining the river.
It should also be noted that the hook-shaped drainage channel to the left of the above image actually constitutes, in part, a border to a separate, gated, enclosure (patterned area bordering the river) and was fortunate in this respect, in that it allowed it to escape much of the destruction visited upon the rest of the fenland area (as did the very small copse to the top of this enclosed area. This also makes the field area appear to be incorrect with respect to the actual map area when viewed from the ground.
The following image is a close-up of the top drainage channel showing the environmental benefits of being oversprayed with industrial strength herbicide ...right before being casually ploughed, filled, and compacted [ above image: 28.06.2018, ditch image: 01.07.2018 ]
As can be seen in the next video clip, the channel that previously bisected the top of the top of the field has now been ploughed over and probably infilled with aggregates to firm it up, whilst the point where it previously joined the other drainage channels is now an even larger pile of rocks, doubtless supplemented by other rocks cleared from the fenland during The Great Destruction.
Obviously it is not difficult to see that The 'Farmers' of the Destroyed Fenland intended to cover themselves against the removal of the drainage ditches by pointing everyone to the OS and Land Registry map data and trying to pretend that they had done no such thing. Unfortunately for them, the photographic evidence alone
more than proves their culpability in this matter (even ignoring the fact that there is more surface water on the ground around the ditches than there is in, or moving through, the ditches
In addition to destroying the top bisection channel, the lower channel no longer functions as it should as a result of the areas bordering the channel being ploughed and compacted, with water from those areas now forming large lakes of water and seas of mud as opposed to draining anywhere, nevermind into the drainage ditches.¹
- [ ¹ ] in a novel twist on "how not to do this", the farmers attempted to dredge some of the remaining drainage channels (whilst contravening the GAEC 5 prohibition on mechanical field operations in waterlogged conditions towards the end of last year)
...and dumped the soil to either side of the ditches, further compacting and wrecking the edges of the drainage channels in the process with their tractor, which has contributed enormously towards the development of the polluted groundwater that now covers most of the destroyed fenland area and which is washed straight into the river everytime it rains (sediment, herbicide, fertilizer, and animal waste - the whole lot)...
- Note the photographs where the trees and saplings have been cut back: these saplings, and the undergrowth, constituted a necessary and established border to the field, not only counting towards Greening and EFA (if applicable), but also helping to prevent erosion on the steeper gradients. It would also have been necessary to obtain an EIA in order to work on these trees, just as with the fenland area itself.
- Further to the above, there was major trimming (and removal using a mechanical digger) work on the other side of the river on the 6th August, including the gutting of several copses (removal of everything within the copse whilst creating the illusion of leaving the copse intact).
This would have been under a derogation by RPW which allows hedge trimming (and related work) from the 1st August as opposed to the 1st September; however, outside of requiring the written consent of RPW (was such even sought or granted?) there is also a requirement to sow oilseed rape or temporary grassland at the same time on the same land [ GAEC 7a ]...and there most definitely is no oilseed rape being grown on the floodplain, nor was any temporary grassland sown at the time [although the destroyed fenland (an entirely separate area and landowner) was sown with a brassica/grass seed mix for sheep grazing].
The Guide to Cross-Compliance in England 2018
What remains of the drainage ditches is showing signs of recovery (at least until the 'farmers' next decide to overspray and poison them, infill them with mud and aggregates, or simply destroy them for the sheer ignorance of doing so); although the sickle (to re-use my earlier description) is in very poor shape: muddy, clearly polluted, and scarcely more than a dip in the ground along a good part of it; as can be seen in the following video clip:
- not only has the destruction of the soakaway and drainage ditches effectively turned the area into a sea of mud around a compacted mass of earth and aggregates, but the herbicide, fertilizer, and other substances that the farmers have poisoned the area with, including any and all residues of these substances, are now being washed straight into the river; quite aside from most of the area resting directly over the watertable itself.
- the removal of drainage ditches, eradication of field boundry hedgerows, and land compaction (with aggregates) is a policy that has been applied to land all across the floodplain by these idiots. On the other side of the river the land in November, even after weeks of rainfall, was still brown, dead, and failing to recover.
- also, further to the damage already inflicted, several days in early August were spent treating the area across the river with more herbicide (after a vigorous session of bracken-bruising) with the completely needless cutting-back, thinning, and removal of many small trees and saplings, using a mechanized digger in some cases, and including the gutting of several local copses in the area (removal of everything within the copse whilst creating the illusion of leaving the copse intact). This will almost certainly be part of the ongoing eradication of natural habitat with the intention of stealthily 'improving' it and further gouging CAP payments.
this site is undergoing ongoing changes and amendments as further details and evidence is gathered and added to the site, so please feel free to use the contact details given at the foot of this page should you have any questions or should you wish to submit further details or evidence of your own; but please do not send attachments without first contacting me, as the attachments will simply be deleted by the mail server otherwise.
All the media material on this site is available by request, including copies of the original .jpg
files and additional material that is not currently part of the online article; likewise all letters and emails relating to contact with Rural Wales, the Environment Agency, and Natural Wales.
For anyone wanting to make their own reports of similar activities in their area, please contact me via my secure email address, and via a Protonmail account (free accounts available), if possible. Field numbers are also essential
for reporting incidents to Rural Payments, and these can be determined via MAGIC [
Interactive Map >
Where Am I? top menu-bar button) >
click on relevant area on the main map for the field number after zooming-in on, or searching for, that area) ]
I can also be contacted via Mastodon
Short URL: http://bit.do/DestroyedFenland
- Just John, @: Ex5NY27U corequery.uk
- secure email address as detailed above -