Friday, 24 April 2020

Drainage ditches, hunters' 'pulpit'
and suburban sprawl

Drainage ditches criss-cross the flat fields of Jeziorki and surrounding villages. I've written about the ditch that serves as Warsaw's southern border, demarcating the line between Jeziorki and Mysiadło. This post will go further west, that same ditch cuts under the railway line, and then under ulica Gogolińska. Again, this is the Warsaw border, Warsaw to the right.

Below: having crossed the tracks, I'm looking the other way, eastwards. I'm still on the Warsaw side.

Having crossed ul. Gogolińska, I leave Warsaw. The drainage ditch now runs south-west, the trees in the picture below run away to the right, and that treeline becomes Warsaw's border. The ditch now leads towards the village of Zgorzała. In the distance (click to enlarge) you should be able to make out a wooden watch tower.

Here it is - looking back down along that ditch, the treeline border of Warsaw to the left in the distance. This tower is an ambona (lit. 'pulpit'), in this context though a hunters' stand. It is from here that hunters can shoot at local game. Deer, hare and pheasant, the occasional wild boar. I must say that I am against the killing of sentient life for sport.

But the wildlife itself is being squeezed out. On the horizon, the unstoppable encroachment of hundreds of houses of Nowa Wola. What was once arable farmland is now filling up rapidly with new estates with twee names like  'Birds of Paradise Estate' or 'Our Little Town Estate' but no amenities.

The other evening, I saw deer in Jeziorki, for the first time ever. These developments, plus work on the S7 extension to the west of here is driving wildlife to the quieter environs across the track.

Having climbed the ladder to see inside, I was surprised that there was no sign of use - no empty shotgun cartridges, nor indeed detritus left by teenagers or the local open-air drinking  community. Maybe hunters - for the damage they wreak on the wildlife - are as ecologically conscientious as I am and take every scrap of litter home with them. Or maybe there's not been any hunting going on for a while here.

Onwards to the end of that drainage ditch, to where it turns south, eventually petering out in a field just north of Nowa Wola. I turn north, however, and head towards Zgorzała, itself spreading out (though here we have individual houses rather than large estates of identical houses).

Onwards, past houses newly finished, unfinished and already inhabited, ones still being finished and a few that look they will never finally be finished - not under the current owners, anyway. I fear the sprawl in the fields south of Warsaw will end up looking like the 1930s sprawl west of London - Greenford, Hayes, Northolt, Ickenham, Ruislip, Hillingdon - never-ending soul-less suburbs moving ever-further from the city centre. At least those 1930s London suburbs had facilities - schools, shops, hospitals, pubs - and above all - good rail links to central London.

This time last year:
Aviation the theme (plane pics are popular!)

This time two years ago:
Five closed-off hectares of central Warsaw

This time three years ago
Progress by the ponds

This time seven years ago:
Kaczyński's ignorance, deceit or folly? 

This time eight years ago:
The British electrical plug reigns supreme

This time nine years ago:
Easter, and the end of Lent

This time ten years ago:
That Icelandic volcano

This time 11 years ago:
Views of Historic Toruń

This time 12 years ago:
One swallow does not a summer make

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