Yet again Countryfile blindly rubber stamp another eco-fraud, this time it’s the ‘wonderful restoration’ of the old A3 in the Devil’s Punchbowl. What a joke! The lack of imagination at this very high profile site beggars belief. The old road lies above superb restored heathland yet the carriageway has been plastered in clayey topsoil and is developing into a completely inappropriate neutral grasland mix with areas actually planted with trees! Very little exposed sand is present (less than that beside the active A3), Despite the great aspect and obvious value to bees and wasps etc. I was commissioned to do a survey of the old trackways pre tunnel as in the days of the horse and carriage Fairy Shrimps bred in the rutted roadways. Obviously they were long gone in the shady acidic pools that remained, but how hard would it have been to make little rutted area and allow some seasonal pools development, and reintroduce the lovely things. All those dogs would help keep them from revegetating too much..so..win..win!!
Boundless Copse disappeared under the approaches to the southern tunnel entrance. The slopes of which are covered in a grassy monoculture. The Copse had superb acidic seepages, relict heathy glade edges which hade numerous rare and nationally scarce invertebrates, and plenty of reptile, bird and mammal interest. All gone without an ounce of compensation. All that dull plantation woodland sits on former heathland. I cannot see a single tree removed to compensate for those glades and seepages. Just classic Noddy Town species poor dross. EIA what is the point!!