Skip to main content


Having used Google's satellite images to plan a possible back-door route in to the 90 acre development six miles outside town I discovered a limitation of assessing a path viewed from space - as from ground level they might have a tall security fence across it, right in front of you.  Luckily they don't expect someone to improvise enough to make a half mile diversion through a marshy wood full of brambles and fording a ditch at the one spot passable, along a railway line, between some flooded old quarries and and finally over a hill of former landfill, now punctured with HSO2 vents and associated piping.  But that was the way in. I'd set off late (had planned to go tomorrow) so the sun was setting as I finally started to approach the work.

The site I specifically had wanted to get a look at turns out to have been security fenced all the way around - so there was not much of a result there but another big development - the relocation from the city of Siemens manufacturing was a good alternative.  The edge of this site was landscape that was so despoiled that it no longer looked like it belongs to this planet but  on some gloomy, dead world in an orbit far off in the solar system.  At times the ground became just a mix of mud and cement waste sludge, shades of black, gray and deadness.  My boots nearly became immovably stuck in it at times.  At one point I thought I wasn't going to be able to walk out of it.  It was scary and ghastly, and non-stop in the distance was the abrupt unceasing retort of shotguns as shooting of another kind battered on and on in surrounding woodlands as the winter light faded.