What strange thinking Martin Pawley displays in his article (AJ 8.5.99). Because he has abused his patch and does not want to put it right, he wants to move onto someone else's and leave the dereliction. And I suppose when he moves onto the clean new ground, he will bespoil that too.
We in the countryside also have similar problems in dealing with social change, many of which come from the 'Pawley Townie' moving into our midst. Our villages grew simply and were the base for the travelling shop which provisioned the outlying areas. Now most of us outside the immediate village area must drive in for our shopping with the resultant problem of what to do with the car, not dissimilar to the urban situation. Mr Pawley seems to think that the countryside is just an open space where he can practise anarchy by pleasing himself.
I must also question Mr Pawley's agricultural statistics. Cereal, especially wheat, is perhaps the crop which has advanced most in production since the war, and today it averages 3-4 tons per acre - I note he quotes in old imperial - not 8 tons per acre as he infers: there is not any commercial production of genetically modified crops in the uk. He also seems to realise that the countryside (ie land) is a finite reserve: there is not any more, so it has to be considered precious.
Nick Woodhams, Architects in Agriculture and the Countryside, Stafford