Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Anthony (Tony) Day writes to the Cambridge News - from Wicken

My fine old friend Anthony (Tony) Day, the famed Fen artist of Wicken, writes again to the Cambridge News. His letter, excellently phrased as always, succeeds in crucifying the proponents of the National Trust's so-called 'Wicken Vision.' Mr Day knows of what he writes, for he was born and bred in Wicken. I am grateful to him.


Conservation a lost cause

While warming to Mr Michael Johnson's enjoyment of a visit to Wicken Fen (News, December 29) he should realise that he is but one of some 40,000 a year who visit this fen, accepting it as a "fun place" sooner than a secure wildlife sanctuary. The wildlife he saw would have been disturbed by his presence.

I am sure I would enjoy Mr Johnson's company on such a walk but he might find me tedious in my advocacy of the true and intended purpose of the fen as anything but a diversion for people other than dedicated naturalists, for which it was set aside.

Our "grumpiness" in opposing a vast extension of the fen is based on our conviction that there is no "vision" within its body of supporters whose spokesmen change their aims at every airing.

Since the announcement that they were intending to flood the area in opposition to the drainage system to stimulate ancient fenland they have moved on to cycle paths, pony trails, ponds and now the planting of trees, hardly bearing in mind that the peat digging industry came of discovering that trees do not thrives in wetlands.

New bridges will bring the hordes in to drive out anything wild.

Meanwhile the loss to agriculture at a time of growing need will be seen long before any disruption, hopefully inducing a change of policy. Meanwhile, what a waste!

The supermarkets, Mr Johnson, are misleading.

They are, of course, very likeable people who administer Wicken Fen but they have moved off the route for conservation and they have money to expand their policy. In opposing them my conscience is my guide.

Anthony Day
Pond Green

As it happens, I recently photographed one of Anthony Day's magnificent paintings and my photograph is below.

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