The majority of the public support the joint efforts of ARK and Marlborough town council

Written by Harry Forbes on .


I am writing as a resident of Marlborough and regular user of Stonebridge Meadow in reply to Nigel Kerton’s letter of January 21.  It appears that Mr Kerton is selective in the information which he puts forward when complaining about the excavations (test pits  for a wildlife pond) dug by ARK in Stonebridge Wild River Reserve.

These ‘drowning hazards’ of which he makes mention are in actuality encircled by orange temporary fencing similar to that used around gas  pipe works in addition to warning signs on each side of the fencing,  which illustrate any possible danger arising from the deep excavations.

How then could anyone drown unless they deliberately walked around over 10 metres from the footpath, climbed over the fencing, ignored the warning signs and jumped into the pit?

Of course, the excavations are close to  the river which poses a far more significant endangerment and is a natural feature of the landscape, which has been present for thousands of years.  Mr Kerton should realise that the countryside is not wrapped  in cotton wool and that Stonebridge Meadow is part of a nature reserve, not a children’s play park.

Marlborough Town Council are not guilty of  ‘a lack of action’ over the test pits, they are an integral part of the jointly approved ARK – MTC plan which decides policy on Stonebridge Wild River Reserve.

I often walk in the Wild River Reserve and constantly have people acquaint me with their support of the plans, and a good number are particularly enthusiastic about the pond.

But sadly this letter does not surprise me.  It is, after all, just part of an on-going campaign of vituperation, pugilistic in its nature, against ARK,  which Mr Kerton has been the ring leader of for some time, constantly  finding  unreasonable gripes anew with everything that is done.

I wonder what will follow.  He has tried to insinuate that public paths were being removed, although all old access has remained and additional  new paths have been created, he has attempted to cause commotion over  the barbed wire which is ubiquitous practice for livestock fencing  throughout the countryside.

Now he seeks to undermine the  excavations which are test pits for a wildlife pond, planned for the  purpose of increased biodiversity and to create a resource for children  to pond dip and for the community to enjoy.

I would urge Mr Kerton to  realise that ARK, MTC and the majority of public support is fully on  side with the meadow plans, and that he should stop this puerile antipathy against an admirable local charity working to benefit  wildlife and people.


Harry Forbes