Twyford Down is a small area of ancient chalk downland lying directly to the southeast of Winchester, England. The down's 144 metres summit, known as Deacon Hill, is towards the north-eastern edge of the area which is renowned for its beautiful scenery, ecologically rich grassland and as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is a part of the East Hampshire AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
Winchester had been a traffic bottleneck for many years as several major routes passed through the historic city centre, including the A31, A33 and A34, as well as smaller routes like the A272. In the 1930s, a bypass had been built to the east of the city, passing immediately west of St. Catherine's Hill but offered only a partial solution to congestion. There were calls to build a bypass round the north-west side of Winchester. The land required to build this 2 mile extension of the ms, east of the city on Twyford Down, was owned by Winchester College, which refused to sell the land to the government because part was a water meadow. The desired route, however, had been chosen to avoid St. Catherine's Hill, an ancient hill fort. Proposals were made for a tunnel through Twyford Down, but the estimated cost for this was £75 million more than the estimated cost for a cutting, and the government dismissed the plans. The final route chosen ran through important chalk grassland habitat, and 1.91 hectares a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) were lost. This is a huge disregard to nature and is destroying something rare (a chalk downland) which is of scientific interest, but also the idyllic views and the endemic creatures whose habitat has been destroyed.
From these two examples, we can see that, despite the valuable habitats which were lost, we choose ‘expansion’ over ‘preservation’. I think that more measures should be put in to protect these beautiful areas from destruction.
Everybody likes to go and see the natural world, go on a walk in the woodland, or cycle over meadows. But, as with tourism, a line must be struck as to what they can and cannot do. I think that we should protect all those places with special statuses, such as ‘AONB’ or ‘SSSI’. Whatever the circumstances, these should be left un-touched and therefore preserved. A committee, such as the National Trust, should be put in place to make sure that these places are not destroyed. Also, once a week, there should be a day where nobody can gain access to these sites so they can be left to ‘regenerate’. In these areas, you should only be able to walk around. They are being preserved so that creatures can live in their natural habitat undisturbed. Riding a bicycle might crush or damage plants and animals alike. Finally, we should show general courtesy in places, which might not have special statuses, but are still home to many creatures and plants. This would only include picking up litter if you see it on the floor or picking up dog foul for instance. Small steps like that would mean that we can enjoy these ecosystems without destroying them.
If these step are not adhered to, then we loose all are our grassland, forests and plants. It will be as if we have gone back in time to the Industrial revolution, where you could see and smell the smoke in the air. And those national parks which, had not died out would act as a reminder to what Britain used to be like, before we destroyed all our ecosystems and habitats. ‘The Garden of Kent’, will return to just Kent.