Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal

Paul Mobbs’ photographic record of his walks around ‘Banburyshire’ and ‘The Irondowns’, and occasionally, as part of his work around Britain, the areas beyond.


‘Last Chance (HS)To See’ – Scene 42:

‘Fields Farm, Offchurch’

A panorama across ‘The Wall’ that will bisect the Leam valley

17th February 2019


Some roe deer scatter as I hove into view from behind the hedgerow. wow! Are they in for a shock soon. Apart from a narrow gap along the river, beneath the Leam viaduct, the wildlife corridor that is the Leam valley is about to be chopped in half.

Walking along the flat track from Fields Farm to the crossing of the river, I’m trying to picture how this scene will change with the coming of HS2.

What strikes me – with accompanying remembered tune by Pink Floyd – is simply the ‘The Wall’ that this project will create here (it’s a metaphor which works at many levels where HS2 is concerned). The physical barrier it represents to the local wildlife, and the potential that has locally to disrupt the environment.

A panorama through ‘The Wall’

Use the slider to move the view from side to side
Load map of this location.

Though the sleet on my back is easing, the outlook here is pretty bleak. In the human obsession with the self, HS2’s influnce of the movement of wildlife in the local landscape is something that’s been largely overlooked – and which is easy to see hereabout with the visible animals in the landscape, and the tracks that wind off into the arable fields towards the HS2’s embankment.