Letter: Landscape will be lost at Warnham Mill Pond

REGARDING the fate of Warnham Mill Pond, we are told that the favoured solution just happens to be that which is both the cheapest and that which was being pushed forward by Horsham District Council.

How surprising! For instance, in the exhibition outlining the various options, this was the only solution for which there was an artist’s impression, seductively showing a delightful pastoral water-meadow worthy of a painting by Constable. All it lacks is a hay-wain, a couple of peasants and a dog. The image is reproduced yet again in the article in the County Times of January 26.

Can we place any reliance on the veracity of this pronouncement by our leaders at HDC, given their recent record on the BBH gym and the North Horsham development? It is exceedingly doubtful.

However, and more importantly, the good folk who ‘voted’ for this alternative have been subtly deceived. The ‘area of ponded water’ with its surrounding meadows shown on the diagram will require upkeep. Such a landscape feature is temporary, extremely temporary.

That ‘area of ponded water’ (presumably known to rest of us in plain English as a ‘pond’) will silt up in a couple of years, and the wide sweep of the grass and reeds shown on the ‘natural floodplain’ will be invaded by alder scrub.

In five years, in the absence of maintenance, the area will deteriorate: eventually to leave us with a miserable stream running through a boggy overgrown scrub-land. We know from the record of HDC that there will be absolutely no funds for maintenance.

No crystal ball is required to foresee the subsequent chain of events. It will be identified by some entrepreneurial councillor as a wasted asset, a piece of rough soggy ground with no value as a nature reserve, but a prime site to be sold off to a supermarket for commercial gain.

Of course, we will not be informed because of confidentiality clauses until the bulldozers move in.

You have been warned.

PETER WEBSTER

Grebe Crescent, Horsham