Wildlife still in peril
Sir: Twyford Down an SSSI? I don't think so. Ninety-seven per cent of the land affected by the M3 was unremarkable farmland or the site of a former sewage works. The two small SSSIs on the route - some scruffy downland and an area of watermeadow - were successfully translocated. Indeed, there is now more species-rich downland on Twyford Down than before the M3 went through it.
Best of all, the horrible old road which used to form a barrier between Winchester and the Downs has disappeared under thousands of tons of chalk, and a new green valley has been created. Twyford Down was not an environmental disaster, unless you class the increase in traffic along the M3 since it was opened as a disaster. But it was a major PR disaster for the construction industry.
Technical Editor, `New Civil Engineer' magazine
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire