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Trees prevent floods

THE Government is committing £12m to engineering flood defences, in order to save the vast expenditure of repeatedly repairing destruction.

Every citizen who spends his own money on continued insurance, the individual, private, Conservative method, endlessly wasting money on repair, needs to learn the Socialist lesson, of public money productively spent to solve the problem for all.

As the Severn river is 200 miles long, you have to fix the Shrewsbury flooding problems far from where they occur.

Only primitive minds fail to see the benefits of joint national and international commitment.

There are fundamental, intelligent ways available, to control excess rainfall and its destructive power when concentrated in certain places, far from its origin.

While lakes are a convenient place to store water, they are expensive to create.

However, particularly in limestone areas, there are huge underground aquifers with a fluctuating capacity to store many millions of gallons of water, from which the discharge of that water, at different levels of strata of rock, can be controlled and restricted, both in time, volume and even direction.

By choosing where to restrict the outlets from the aquifers, we are also controlling where the rainfall from which land areas is being drained into the aquifers.

The vast storage capacity of these cavernous aquifers, frequently linked to one another, allows us, once we have the three dimensional knowledge of all the interlinked channels, to chart the direction of water flow, into any direction which suits that particular occasion, making them more flexible in use than lakes or reservoirs.

Obviously, wherever large quantities of water are discharged steadily over time, one gets the opportunity to use dynamos to generate electricity.

Educated biologists are already urging us to recognise the folly of the monoculture of endless bald grassy hills, spilling all the rainfall directly into rivers, when we can choose to create large peat bogs by controlling the drainage on hills and seeding the area with sphagnum moss, which acts like a huge sponge with slow release of the water, creating a more biologically diverse area of considerable potential, such as vast carbon storage.

We all know that Welsh hills once were covered with trees which were sacrificed to make pit props for the mining industry.

Here is an obvious place to produce great wealth by planting trees, which also delay the period between the rain falling and then swelling the force of a river’s powerful current.

If we recognise that such an investment in conifer trees can only be reaped in 80 years, then the best time to get started planting is next week.

On the other hand, if the nation chooses to invest in hardwood, deciduous trees, which take longer to mature, then the best time to get started was last week.


Meadow Rise, Brynna, Mid Glam


Grant opportunity

READING the Swindon Advertiser for Saturday, October 22 I was delighted to read that the fundraising for the Brighter Futures Charity Radiotherapy Unit Appeal has reached £1m, a third of its target of £2.9m.

I also noted that by a coincidence a national charity People’s Health Trust was represented in the letters page.

A letter from the Chief Executive John Hume, detailed the success the charity was enjoying having raised more than £80m since its inception five years ago.

The charity apparently makes grants to help fund projects and included the statement: “The projects may vary but what they all have in common is that they are led by local people.”

In view of the extreme urgency of establishing a radiotherapy unit in Swindon and in consideration of the vast benefit this would bestow on those cancer sufferers living in Swindon and its surrounds I cannot conceive a more worthy cause and wonder whether those who are leading the fundraising may consider applying to the People’s Health Trust for a substantial grant to help deliver this much needed facility at the Great Western Hospital.

I do feel it may be worthwhile giving it a try.




Animals exploited

WE are often described as a nation of “animal lovers” but it would be more accurate to say we are a nation of pet lovers (mainly dogs, cats and budgies).

We kill millions of animals each year (and I suspect we have not been told the truth about some aspects of factory farming).

We humans exploit animals for our own ends, so we should stop sentimentalising ourselves. Television gets almost everywhere these days. But they don’t seem to get much access to our largely secret treatment of animals.

I am not a veggie, but I did stop eating beef, lamb and rabbit years ago. And I am from an old-style farming background.


St Faith’s Street, Lincoln


Number going loco!

I WAS glad that Rodney Wirdnam pointed out the difference between a ‘train’ and a ‘locomotive’ in the SA 28/10/16. I was about to do the same.

It was indeed a splendid picture. I must, however, point out that its number is not 373 but 3738, as the fourth digit is hidden by the buffer.

This was due to the unfortunate old GWR positioning of the numbers on the buffer beam. The only way to read them is head on.


West View, Swindon


Firework legacy

I HOPE everyone had a good time at the firework display at Spring Gardens, off Fleming Way, at the weekend.

I hope the council workmen had a good time picking up all the empty boxes, used fireworks and the food wrappers with all the rest of the rubbish that was left behind.


Salisbury Street, Swindon