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NOTHING can prepare one for the sight of thousands of acres completely bereft of any form of life.

We've just returned from another of our coach tours. This time we visited Lancashire. Much of the tour was taken up visiting mill shops and heritage attractions, but we did tour some of the beautiful countryside of the area.

Dear God! I've never dis-believed anyone who has written of the way livestock has been cleared from the land, but despite trying to visualise it, NOTHING can prepare one for the sight of thousands of acres completely bereft of any form of life. No photograph or film can capture the silence and sadness of field after field of nothing but grass. Uncut hay, scrubbed-clean farms, water troughs standing sentinel in the fields with none of the usual huddle of cattle around them. We had a very quiet group of passengers. Then suddenly a river or road, obviously a 3 km boundary, the other side of which all was back to normal. Totally surreal.

Once more the petition for a public enquiry went round the coach, and this time a 100% take-up.

If only there was some way to convey the silent fields to the general public. I have been fully aware of the situation for months, but to see it..........

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