Dear Sir,

Despite some chronic ilness I do still play golf, but one morning recently I turned up as usual at my club to find it closed to members due to a Northern Counties competition. Somewhat aggrieved and downhearted I returned home but I still wanted some exercise so armed with my walking stick I set out down by the Burn.

I live close to the footpath and walked along near Woodham Academy. Crossing the bridge I turned left towards Woodham Burn School and received my first thrill of the morning. There hasd been some new planting of trees and the grass and wild flowers had been allowed to grow unhindered. The result was a glorious and luxurious growth of many wild species – an intoxicating sight!

Taking the path under the bridge I was absolutely overwhelmed by the beauty of this area. My immediate thought was that if this was transported to the south of England or to any of the renowned beauty spots in the country it would be featured in the picture books of Glorious Britain.

It is lovely to see trees and I belive they are the most beautiful objects on the planet. Our climate may be extremely perverse, but it does produce some splendour. I walked towards Simpasture and the Railway Station, under the Blue Bridge and along St. Cuthbert’s Way.  Trees everywhere and this entrance to the town makes you very proud. After passing St. Clare’s Church we are presented with civic and commercial buildings, but every town must accept these as necessary. Even so the Council have done as much as possible to beautify this area, but I would sugest more trees would help.

I then made my way back home and having set out on a rather sombre mood found myself happy and somewhat exhilarated.

It brought to mind a recent discussion with my sister in law who lives in Sedgefield who until the recent death of my wife was a frequent visitor to our home.

She told me of a conversation she had over tea and biscuits with friends where the subject of Newton Aycliffe was discussed. One person commented she could not live in that slum! My sister in law admonished her in no uncertain terms commenting on the many good features of this town that I have mentioned.

I recount this incident because there are many of us guilty of putting our town down and in the case of the Council frequently and vehemently.

Let’s give credit where it is due and I think with regard to our environment, in particular the tree and green open spaces some wise decisions have been taken and we should be grateful for this.

In conclusion I would offer one small piece of advice to readers of this piece – the next time you are feeling glum – get out and look at the trees, smell the flowers and admire the beauty of nature on our doorstep!