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The people speak.

Alan made contact with his friends and feverish activity went on for

several days. Documents were found and copied, advice was taken, opinions sought, until he knew that the case was complete.

They decided to call a public meeting in the church hall and invited their

M.P., the developers, the council planning committee members and the

general public.

On the night, Alan was surprised by how many people he knew had

turned up. There were numbers of grandparents, whose battles he had

fought when they were young, with their children and even grandchildren.

The local vet was there and a couple of architects he had approached, when he had needed to provide alternative schemes.

The history society was well represented and to everyone’s surprise,

the owner of two of the empty factories was there. The general public was considerable; people from throughout the town who had played in the wastelands as children, walkers’ groups, the chairman of the allotment holders association. Teachers, who used the wastelands for educating the children about the environment, people who went there from the town when they needed space to think, bird watchers, bat watchers, the list was impressive. The natural history society was there in force.

People were standing at the back of the hall, because there were no more seats left.

Both sides spoke. Arguments were given by the council and developers

for the new shopping mall and extra housing, then the different groups gave their reasons for not wanting the development.

Alan saved his own piece of news till last.

“As you now see.” he said, “The community, as a whole, doesn’t want

the development.” There was a roar of approval……

The wastelands, two centuries before, in Beatrice’s time..

She decided to ride over to see for herself. The paths were lined with bluebells and primroses and the May blossom was out. Bumble bees worked the late cowslips and waves of blue forget me nots rolled over the broken earth….

It seemed wrong to her that at such a time, with so much

generosity in nature around him, Michael could even contemplate such a

mean act.

The ditch was a third full and running, but the sides looked damp with

moss and ferns growing and judging from the sky, rain was on the way. In

the trees on her side of the ditch, she could hear a woodpecker hammering

and a small finch flew into the cover of the undergrowth.

Beatrice’s Way

The stray cats..

The allotments

Where The Fox Goes © J.R.Birch 2004