May 10th – Hopping on to the canal for the last leg home, I cycled past the new pond behind the big house in Clayhanger. This now wooded, verdant pool was, only 30 years ago, a spoil heap which towered above the canal bank I’m stood on, and before that a brickworks. It’s hard to conceive that such a green, wildlife rich haven could have sprung from such infertile, polluted, post industrial land.

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