Set in the green hills of the United Kingdom, Watership Down was a novel that had worldwide appeal, not only as a good story, but also for the strong message it sent about the impact of development on the wildlife population. Ironically, Sandleford Park in Newbury, which served as inspiration for the author in writing this tale, is now the very place that West Berkshire County Council has chosen for the site of 2000 new homes.
According to local campaigners, this decision will have a devastating impact on the residents of the area, place severe strain on the regional infrastructure, and contribute to a dramatic reduction in wildlife habitat. Those campaigning against this destruction have identified numerous sites on previously developed land that could be re-generated, yet the council is still planning to go ahead with destroying this beautiful park, in spite of local objections, including those of Richard Adams, the 90 year old author of Watership Down.
Sign this petition to urge the council to protect this area and keep it as a haven for wildlife.
An appeal from Richard Adams - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/hands-off-our-land/8962223/Hands-Off-Our-Land-A-wound-in-the-loveliest-of-places.html
The website for the Say No To Sandleford Campaign - http://www.saynotosandleford.org.uk/
Save Watership Down - Say no to the development of Sandleford Park
Sandleford Park, as the setting for the book Watership Down, is a place of significance, not only for local residents, but also for readers around the world who loved the story and valued its message about the damage that development causes to the environment and to wildlife. If any place is worthy of protection, it is this one.
I am writing to voice my objection to the council’s proposal to build homes in this, of all areas. As many local campaigners have pointed out, this decision will have a devastating impact on the residents of the area, place severe strain on the regional infrastructure, and contribute to a dramatic reduction in wildlife habitat. Green spaces and wildlife habitats are rapidly disappearing the world over, and once a greenfield site has been developed, it is gone for good. Local groups campaigning against this have proposed several brownfield sites as alternatives for these homes and these provide a viable and preferred option for providing additional housing in the area.
I urge the council to remove Sandleford as a potential site for any kind of development, and appeal to you to preserve this area and protect the local wildlife, not only for the benefit of local residents, but for the thousands of people worldwide who may one day want to visit the site that inspired “Watership Down” for themselves.