Eco town or industrial wilderness?

Do you remember me saying a few months that if it’s a black and white issue then I would see the grey? Well now I’m seeing Carn Grey and the proposed eco town. This area around Carn Grey and Baal pit is one of my favourite walks with Harry, I’m generally up there every other day and if you’re wondering who I am, then I’m the one standing on my own shouting at the top of my voice “If you don’t get back here, right NOW I’ll turn your ears into mittens!!” Harry will be out of sight somewhere terrorising rabbits and being eternally grateful that his owner never calls him back. – Selective deafness has Harry!

We love this area because it provides so many permutations of walks and a huge sense of space and wilderness. I also love the range of habitats, moorland, heathland, woods, fields, ponds, industrial landscapes and granite outcrops. I love the bizarre turquoise lakes, from some points you can see various lakes all in different shades of blue and green, further adding to the alien landscape. I found out recently that old episodes of Doctor Who were filmed in Baal Pit which seems fitting because whenever I walk over some of the sections I feel like I’m on a Martian territory watching terraforming in process. So much money has been spent on stabilising the landscape and introducing species to start to knit together the clay waste and it’s really working well.

It’s an incredible process, first tiny mosses take hold, with the odd heather and rhodo self seeding, for once a welcome intruder; trees have been planted and whilst the wild deer up there have tried to have a few nibbles they have been mostly foiled by the tree guards. A couple of times these deers have sprung out at me and I’m usually more surprised than them as I was expecting a Harry, not a Bambi. It’s always a thrill to be so close to such a large wild animal.

I know a lot of people see the china clay workings as a horrific scar on the landscape but it seems that the telescope of time has a softening effect, the tin mines are now romantic tourist attractions but I bet at the time they were also seen by many as ugly monstrosities.

I know I’m not the only one up here as I often meet other dog walkers and anglers, walkers, bikers, bird watchers and joggers and during the snows other tobogganists and snow boarders screaming with laughter down the perfect slopes. Throughout the summer shouts of fun drift up from the swimming ponds, and in a different area, cubs and scouts set fire to things because as Arkala says “that’s what boys like to do”

So I find the idea of an eco town tearing up this place something of an irony. Do we really need this massive development? I know we need homes that people can afford to buy and I’d want all new buildings to be as environmental as possible, but I’ve never been able to afford a true eco house. I’m not against building new homes and I’m all for them being as “eco” as possible above and beyond guidelines. But why here? I have fewer objections to the proposed development behind Poltair, the land is stable, it’s closer to town and amenities and is less of a wild space.

I’ve added a few link to walking trails that I’ve done so that you can explore the place for yourself.  I’ll be adding a few more over the next week.

Baal Pit and Carn Grey – the BIG one.
A circular route of martian landscapes and ancient tors. About 1 – 2 hours.

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