Poet Clare Crossman draws our attention to a call to save the river and the chalk aquifer that feeds it.
At Waterlight we recently received a link to a petition started by young Cambridgeshire activists to draw to the attention of the powers that be the state of the chalk aquifers in Cambridgeshire and East Anglia: ‘Save the River Cam! Stop development on Eastern Chalk Aquifer!’
The area where I live in south Cambridgeshire, and within Cambridge itself, has and is being hugely developed. Addenbrookes is becoming a town, the station has been surrounded with buildings ready for the 21st century and within the city itself what was open ground to walk on and meet others from your locality has been bought up and built on. Local to me entire acres of farmland have been turned into housing estates.
A beauty all their own
But we all still need food, water and air and the chalk rivers and streams that are all fed from chalk aquifers are very rare and have their own beauty. There are many members of the Cam Valley Forum, hosted at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge, who are as devoted to looking after and watching over their chalk streams, small rivers and culverts as we are. This is not a retirement occupation, it is necessary.
We must look after the natural world because whether or not we agree with science and XR (Extinction Rebellion) or the whole idea of climate change, we are part of the natural world and it is part of us. The way in which it is being destroyed, is true.
An ever-present truth
This belief has become so important to some people they are currently camping along the route of HS2, which promises to decimate many important areas of wildness and natural beauty. It is important enough to them to live in makeshift tents (no showers or washing facilities), become covered in mud, and live off food donations to show the people who are driving on main roads past them what they stand to lose.
They have got a big notice which says ‘Honk if you agree with us!’ Many do honk their horns even though they can’t physically be there.
There is no getting away from it that the extent to which we are developing, cutting down, refusing to conserve or destroying the natural world is ever-present. Please consider signing and sharing the petition.