Sir – Penny Clover’s letter to the Herald (December 23) regarding Abingdon Hydro was quite misleading.

The circumstances surrounding their felling of trees in early 2015 were well recorded in the pages of the Herald.

The extent of the damage was greater than that cited by Ms Clover and also included the later drilling of bore holes and placing of survey marks on nearby pavements.

Employing volunteers meant that the trees were not felled properly but hacked down leaving ragged stumps although one supposedly ‘dead’ tree actually regenerated itself during the summer.

The area has not ‘regenerated’ itself as a visit to the area will prove. The loss of trees and undergrowth has meant that it is more liable to flood and the loss of undergrowth has led to a new path being created so that people pass closer to valuable nesting sites.

The damage caused by Abingdon Hydro has also meant a new path has opened up nearer the weir pool increasing the disturbance to nesting birds and other wildlife.

But all this would have been nothing compared with the devastation planned for the nature reserve at Barton Fields and Abbey Meadow had the project gone ahead.

Ms Clover asserts that Abingdon Hydro is in consultation with the landowner (Vale of White Horse District Council). If true, it’s a shame this move was not made before chopping the trees down. She says that any restitution of site will be ‘limited in scope’ while money is returned to investors. Many would suggest that the site is repaired first.

Her approach is in fact likely to have been prompted by supporters of the Protect Abingdon Weir (PAW) organisation who have contacted both officers of the Vale and local councillors (some took an interest, others ignored emails sent to them) to get Abingdon Hydro to restore the site. Fortunately for local ecology, supporters of PAW have indicated that they are prepared to make a full-hearted response in planting suitable trees chosen by local naturalists once the necessary agreements have been made with the Vale.

It’s good to know that some people in Abingdon are really prepared to help the environment rather than destroy it in the name of a so-called ‘green’ project.

Mike Gould
Jackman Close