Destruction of the Meadows

I was shocked today to discover that the area in Penwortham which I have recently come to know as ‘The Meadows’ has been dug up as part of the excavations for the expansion of Penwortham By-Pass. I knew that the by-pass was going to widened as part of the new transport infrastructure for the Preston City Deal, but didn’t realise this would necessitate unearthing half of The Meadows.

The west side has been widened by several metres, which I expected.

Right side of Penwortham by-passYet the east side has been widened several times more, and I don’t understand why.

Destruction of the MeadowDestruction of the MeadowsI have been walking through these fields for many years, and only recently come to recognise the number of wildflowers, bees, butterflies and insects, seen the fay dancing and spirits walking there.

Buttercups, Sedges, Yellow Rattle
Buttercups, Grasses, Yellow Rattle

Now I’ve come to appreciate the multilayered life of this inspirited place, suddenly I find it cut down (1), then half gone. I can’t help feeling guilty. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a My Neighbourhood Forum meeting where amongst other things, the plans for the by-pass were to be shown. Assuming that this would be the widening by two lanes, I didn’t go. Now I wish I had. Not so much to stop it happening (too late for that, the City Deal was approved months ago) but to gain a clear understanding of the reasoning behind what is going on.

Here are a few pictures of The Meadows prior to their destruction.

Misty Meadows, March
Misty Meadows, March
The Meadows
Meadows, May
Fish House Brook Tributary
Fish House Brook Tributary
Meadows, May
Meadows, May

(1) A few days ago I wrote a poem about the cutting down of The Meadows. Some pictures of their various butterflies can be found in this post: https://lornasmithers.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/litany-of-the-meadows/

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8 thoughts on “Destruction of the Meadows

  1. I liked then removed it… I am saddened to hear of this destruction of another green space in worship of the motorcar. There will come a time when the car will become uneconomical to run due to fuel costs, then what will they do with the roads? Nature will take over again.

  2. That looks like a move towards a much bigger road. This government is pro road building and there are pots of money councils can apply for to fund new development. You probably do want to have a poke around in this, it could be the opening gambit for something much more involved.

  3. Your anguish and pain are evident at the destruction of a place of such beauty, a habitat for so many small ones, a space where the flowers could be wild and free. The Meadows was a precious environment, and it was clearly a place that spoke to you. But you are also empowered to tell its story to speak its truth through your pain. That is the reason you are a poet. You can say what this place was and should have been allowed to be. Yes, you wish you had paid more attention. It happens, but your attention now is focused and you have a voice. If you speak and write about this then the road builders and developers will not have won. The Meadows can become your icon for the power of poetry to turn the heart and heal the soul, the soul it will heal first is, of course, your own. I am sorry for the pain you feel, it happened to me about a young oak tree that neighbours cut down because it was inconvenient. It happened to me about a pine tree that others did not understand would not have fallen because it was healthy, but the fear won. I feel the pain still at times today and the sense of wanton destruction for no reason that made sense to me then and still doesn’t.

  4. I’ve since found out this is to be a space for machinery to kept in, for the contractors building the by-pass. I’m going to try contacting the parks manager to push for it being replanted with wildflowers afterward.

    1. That’s a good positive move, which in no way takes away from the loss of what was there. It will be disrupted even if planted, but perhaps a place you can work with if you can get the parks folk to replant wildflowers when the road is finished.

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