Observer Comment: Peace and tranquility set to be shattered

THE STUNNING peace and tranquillity of the Combe Haven Valley is set to be shattered this weekend (see page one).

But not by the sound of raucous builders and bulldozers.

Instead, the fields will echo to the uplifting sounds of environmental campaigners coming together for two days of solidarity and song around a campfire.

Some people may fear this is the start of years of Swampy-style antics, with eco-warriors chaining themselves to trees and machinery and battle lines drawn in the sand.

But emotions are running high and the campaigners have rightly issued a rather peaceful battle cry.

The Combe Haven Defenders must be applauded for their quick-thinking actions to try and save what is a beautiful piece of countryside right on our doorstep.

Any opportunity to increase jobs and improve infrastructure and transportation in this area must be welcomed with open arms. But not to the detriment of our wildlife and countryside habitats.

A gentle stroll in through the valley may never be the same again as it echoes to the roar of traffic, commerce and industry.

The Hastings Alliance judiciary review and the efforts of the protestors may all be in vain.

But at least they are going down with a fight and matching those good people of Twyford Down and Newbury.