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Thursday, February 03, 2005

I received a letter in this morning's post from The Woodland Trust. The envelope claimed it contained a questionnaire which they wanted me to fill in within 14 days, so as I live 50 yards from a Woodland Trust wood (and the name of my concreted, treeless secondary school was 'Woodlands'), I opened it immediately.

Turned out it contained a begging letter. Here's the extent of the questionnaire:

"Does it matter if the last remnants of our ancient woodland disappear?

YES, if you care about Britain's wonderful heritage of ancient woodland.

or

NO, if you are content for the remaining ancient British woodland to be uprooted and replaced with housing estates, roads or intensive farming."

I think that's what you call a leading question. Though personally I'm a fan of intensive farming (it's so much better than that laid back tensive farming), so I ticked NO.

I've also received the new issue of the 'Shotley, Chelmondiston, Pin Mill, Woolverstone & Erwarton Community News' (I do love a snappy title), which carries the front page headline "Shotley Community Launches Website". It's right up there alongside "Erwarton Community Discovers Fire" and "Local Man Invents Wheel".

Anyhoo, the article begins...

"The people of Shotley and Erwarton have developed and launched their own website - www.MyShotley.com - in an effort to increase local interest in future planning for the area."

Now speaking as someone who's spent the last nine months feeling slightly guilty about turning down the parish council's request to become their webmaster, on the grounds that I have too much daytime TV to watch, and the remuneration package they were offering basically consisted of a shedload of cash without the cash (so we're talking a shed), I wouldn't be too happy if I'd spent six months creating that website for them, only for the local press to claim it was a group effort by the entire village.

But then I'm not a very public-spirited person. I'd rather be playing bingo in Brighton. So kudos to Brigitte Gualde and Jeremy Peters, the "people of Shotley and Erwarton", who had the selflessness to say yes.

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