Dear Editor,

Bury Hill is an interesting place and the possibility of public access

to its southern flank (Andover Advertiser 22/10/21) will make it even

more attractive to visitors as well as facilitating housing development

elsewhere in the borough via nitrate credits.

However TVBC should surely think again about their plan to plant 7,500

trees on the site. Planted trees are fine for streets and parks, but

most ecologists now agree that tree cover on open countryside, certainly

in lowland Britain, is best achieved by natural regeneration using the

ability of trees to disperse their seed over a wide area. Left alone a

piece of ground will naturally and quickly turn to scrub and then trees.

Not only is this less expensive than planting up sites, but trees

established by regeneration are more likely to be better adapted to

local conditions and will result in a more natural composition suited to

a variety of wildlife. Moreover this does not result in a countryside

littered with plastic tree guards.

There are now rewilding projects up and down the country which

demonstrate the viability of this approach, which is generally used in

other parts of Europe, and here we have the example of our railway

embankments where an estimated 60 million trees, virtually all

self-sown, cost Network Rail many millions per year to keep in check.

Of course commercial tree-growing and tree-planting enterprises do not

like this approach, and neither do some tree-planting charities whose

income depends on just that, but even the Woodland Trust, once primarily

a tree-planting charity, now recommends this approach.

And Kew, the UK's leading source of botanical expertise, and its international partners, recently adopted 10 principles for successful and beneficial

reforestation which includes, as principle no.5 'use natural

regeneration wherever possible'.

So TVBC please forget tree planting at Bury Hill and give nature a

chance to do its own thing - create natural woodland not a plantation

John Moon



Dear Editor,

Further to the Advertiser's Comment about accessible toilets, I'm sure that many members of the public are unaware that these are not exclusively for the use of people with disabilities. An accessible toilet means just that - it's accessible to wheelchair users and there is no law to prevent a non-disabled person from using it. I, too, have a 'hidden disability' and have caused comment for using an accessible toilet. I announced to the disapproving long queue waiting for the other cubicle that there was no reason why accessible facilities couldn't be used by anyone, which caused a sudden rush! I used to work in a new building which had only one toilet cubicle for public use, therefore it had to be accessible. I was sometimes asked if it was okay for a non-disabled person to use it, as it displayed the wheelchair logo on the door. As there were no other toilet facilities, the answer to that was 'Yes'.

It goes without saying that priority should be given to any person with disabilities, they shouldn't have to join a queue!

Name and address supplied.


Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Services (HIWFRS) - firefighters from Whitchurch, Andover, Winchester, Overton and Basingstoke for their professionalism in putting out the fire so quickly at the White Hart Hotel in Newbury Street, Whitchurch, on October 18.

I was in Whitchurch behind Newbury Street when the fire broke out.

I suddenly noticed thick grey choking smoke filled the air and when I looked out the window, I could see flames coming from Newbury Street.

I didn’t know which building caught on fire so I covered my face with a face mask and bandana and made my way out to Newbury Street. It was terrifying, my eyes stung from the smoke and my clothes smelt. I heard the fire trucks arriving.

Residents of Whitchurch assembled on Newbury Street which was cordoned off and you could see firemen and many more fire trucks arriving at the scene. The visible fire had been put out and heroic firemen in breathing apparatus were coming out of the White Hart. It was all very surreal and reassuring.

The fire broke out in the oldest part of the historic building and things could have been so much worse if it weren’t for the quick and swift work of the fire and rescue services.

Jeannette Schael