Letter to the Editor: The Borden Well and Cannop Valley desperately require protection.

Thom Forester has worked hard to lower the base of the Borden Well to accommodate the public’s increasingly large water containers.

We are now investigating the Forestry’s proposal to destroy Cannop Ponds.

Odd that the Green Party is so silent of this crucial woodland issue.

The same applies to their take on the proposal to build houses on the Northern Quarter over unvented landfills, opencast, mining shafts and adits with a dangerous legacy of contaminated land, aquifers, waste disposal points, old chemical works and high probability of Ministry of Defence and American Forces chemical weapons disposals.

Our investigations into contamination of the land around the upper streams show that around 1835, Cannop Chemical Works began to produce pyroligneous acid from the distillation of wood, and small quantities of propionic and butyric acid associated with the production of black powder which was vital throughout the Crimea War for heavy artillery.

Old eroded drums – still marked with the remains of the galvanised plating of the chemical it once held – continue to emerge from the boggy ground.

Surely the solution is to dam up the stream and channel the water to bypass the contaminated areas and link back into Cannop Ponds?

An open and honest dialogue between the public, the Green Party leadership , the Forest of Dean District Council and Forestry is crucial if our woodlands, our rights are to survive the current thrust to capitalise the natural capital initiatives to privatise our woodlands and including the Cannop Valley currently a fundamental plank of the Green Party policy laid out in the district plan including their Biosphere dream.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their support over the 50 years I have been a councillor.

I have served the electorate to the best of my abilities and will continue to do my best to protect the Forest.

Andrew Gardiner, Ruardean