Yesterday I stood and watched as an ancient, irreplaceable wood was destroyed. I hadn’t gone to listen, but to bear witness and yes, to hope that by doing so, I may be able to come to terms with my own sorrow. Sorrow for the trees, the bats, the foxes, the badgers, the plants, the insects and the newly nested eggs that will now never get the chance to hatch into birds. Sorrow also for us: that we, as people, don’t realise or care what we are doing, what we are losing. Actually, that’s unfair: many do realise and have spent countless, heart-breaking hours fighting against the destruction of Jones’ Hill Wood and too many other natural habitats that have or are about to share its fate. But we have “leaders” who can re-route HS2 to save a golf course, but not to save ancient woodland and the creatures within it.
As I stood there, I could hear power generators, voices of the HS2 contractors and most of all, I could hear the saws. Other than that, it was eerily quiet. Its sounds crazy, I know, but I wanted the wood to hear something other than the sounds of its own destruction. So I sang.