In the stories, The Ministry of Monsters allow the monsters of the world to live in The Forest in peace and harmony, safe from hatred and discrimination.
Sadly, the real Government is planning to let the real monsters into the real Forest of Dean. Legislation is due to sell off the nations forest’s and woodlands, currently safeguarded by the Forestry Commission. Developers will be thrilled at the idea of cutting down trees for building land, never mind the open cast mining that will inevitably follow, as the last scraps of Forest coal are hauled away.
The Forest has a history of quarrying and mining, indeed it’s the spoil of these industries that make The Forest the extraordinary shape it is today. But modern mining methods, that would be used to get the last little bits out of the ground, would destroy large areas. The holes would be filled in and houses would be built on them.
Once the Forest is covered in concrete, nature will never be allowed to reclaim and soften the damage, as it has done the over the last fifty years.
And what of our MP in all of this? Mark Harper, the man we voted to represent us in Parliament – the man we rely on to be our shining white knight – the man who is the voice of The Forest Parliament – What of him?
I don’t know. His website is unavailable, the Forest Conservative Association website is unavailable and he is unavailable – not wanting to face large public meetings of his own constituents until the white paper has been presented.
Why? Because he is working on the white paper! I can only hope that he is working from within and that the white paper will exempt the Forest of Dean form being sold off (again – we went through all this not long ago and were assured the Forest was safe for ever.)
Mark Harper is an accountant. The easy stereotype would be to paint him as a bean-counter that only sees the Forest in terms of profit and loss, but I hope he is made of better stuff than that. Wikipedia says he has two labradors – presumably he not averse to walking them in The Forest. Let us hope and pray that Mark Harper is a sensitive man who wants the best for his constituents – at the moment, he’s doing a really bad job of showing it.
This is a video I made in September which gives a brief flavour of the Forest. Come and visit – see it for yourself before it is too late. It’s a strange and magical place. One of the true Crown Jewels of old England.