Taken from Holme Bank banks, this photograph looks west across the farming hamlet of Holme Bank to Little Urswick in the distance.  The pond adjacent to the farm is present in various sizes for the majority of the year, but it does dry out at times.  As a shallow and flat bottomed pond it was once a favourite and safe location for the youth of the two Urswick villages to enjoy ice skating in times when cold winters with ice covered ponds were much more dependable than is now the case.  The skates used were most commonly of the type that were temporarily clamped onto a normal, in their time, pair of stiff leather soled working boots.  Urswick Tarn is off-picture to the right.  The dead tree is featured in the photograph as a symbolic memorial to the very many trees that have disappeared across Urswick Parish and rural Low Furness as a whole within living memory.  This to the detriment of the locality and much to be regretted.  Until around 1950 the steep hillside from where this photograph was taken was a dense woodland of mature deciduous trees.  The image also serves to illustrate how the tree population could be readily increased by their well-spaced-out integration within the numerous hedgerows across the district, and indeed much of the country.  The only way in which this would impact on agriculture would be by the necessity for caution in avoiding the young trees when hedge cutting.  In maturity they would present no problem in this regard.  As well as their individual beauty, they would enhance the character of the area and each make a contribution as a sequester of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  Who cares?  Well, those living on the edge of an ever expanding desert; topically this month, those living on the Somerset Levels in the UK; those who are at risk from severe tropical storms such as Haiyan, which killed thousands in the Philippines in November 2013; those millions living in places like Bangladesh all at severe risk from rising sea levels; those who would not welcome the forced migrations which such situations would cause and the possible civil conflict that may result; all of those may care, and so should we all.

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