LETTER : Damaging remarks are far from true

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From Mr George Monbiot

Sir: John Watson, who watched our arrival at the Wisley Airfield with "disgust" (letter, 26 April) appears to have viewed our land rights encampment through somewhat discoloured spectacles. We have not, as he asserts, torn down branches of trees and saplings: rather, under the guidance of those of our members with conservation qualifications, we have coppiced several hazel stools for construction poles. To avoid the "trampling of undergrowth and wild flowers", we are keeping to the paths of pallets and wood chips we have laid down.

His views are at variance with those of the other residents who have visited our site, some of whom have brought food and seedlings for us, or have offered to help promote our cause. The farmer promised that if we damaged his land, he would take out an injunction against us. He has done no such thing. On the contrary, our relationship with him has been cordial and constructive.

Our negative impact on the environment is less than that exerted by John Watson every time he flushes his toilet or turns on his lights. The difference, of course, is that our footprint is visible and confined to our surroundings. His is both conveniently out of sight and dispersed all over the earth.

As for our positive impact, I hope to see John Watson joining our litter sweep of the local "beauty spots" this week - some of which are truly disgusting.

Yours sincerely,

GEORGE MONBIOT

Wisley Airfield

Surrey

The writer is a New Leveller.

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