Poetic Licence

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Teenage eco-warrior Christiana Tugwell last week lost the first round of her battle to save 11 acres of woodland in Hockley, Essex, from the developers. In a ruling which has fuelled national controversy, a High Court judge gave the go-ahead to build luxury homes on the site

Luxury Homes vs The Woods

In the low slope of the winter sun

A skint young couple used to come

To haul a creaking pushchair

On a Sunday afternoon.

And halfway up the slope they'd stop

And gaze across the haze of trees

Light a fag and watch the squirrels

Bicker over fallen nuts.

Plots 9 and 11 / Adjoining carports.

Starter gardens / Hardy plants

Kerria. Berberis. Mahonia

Side access. Pea-shingle borders.

Bowed after a rainfall in summer

The elder-flowers used to nod

A smell of home-made liebfraumilch

The sun got up a head of steam

And drunk on that, the madcap dogs

Tore up and down the woodland paths

The shouting of their owners rang

As pigeons blundered from the trees

Plot 18. Luxury studio apartments (6)

Car-parking. Kitchen / Breakfast bar.

Power-shower. Parking allocations.

Parisian-style wrought iron balconies.

On grey and windless autumn days

The birches dripped their ingot leaves

The last of the Lords and Ladies

Saw the pale moon, late afternoon

As BMX boys, elbows bruised

Rode swearing over self-dug ramps

Until the dusk came seeping in.

And all the magpies settled down.

Plots 1-8 Superb 4-bed townhouses.

Authentic Essex weatherboarding.

Witch-hat gables. Weathercocks

100 per cent Part-exchange. Close M25.

Luxury Homes - 60

Local woodland - Nil

Martin Newell's latest collection entitled "NEW" will not be available in the shops until the New Year but is available to readers of The Independent by mail order for the reduced price of pounds 5.00 inc p&p. Send cheque made payable to NEWELL, to JLMP, 2 Featherbed Lane, Selling, Kent ME13 9QU