The Roman Gartree Road is scored straight across south east Leicestershire, sometimes city street, sometimes country lane, more often than not just an ancient trackway between ash and beech, the haunt of owl and fox. It bypasses the Strettons (on the 'street')- Little Stretton, the largest of the two, of course, and Great Stretton, of which virtually all that remains is this little church out in the fields. It makes up for it by being the photograph on the cover of W.G.Hoskins' Leicestershire: The History of the Landscape.
But these acres are now under a threat that would make Hoskins revolve in his grave; but that perhaps would gain immediate grape-eating approval from the Romans. Dev the Developer can't wait to bend the newly-revised planning laws in order to turn this landscape, much of which is a truely-green enclave of Leicester itself, into what is oxymoronically called an 'eco-city'. In this case one the size of Hinckley in the same county. The idea pretends to cash-in on the environmental bandwagon, claiming the desire to build 'green' houses on already richly-green pastureland. We all know that this is a lie, greed dressed-up in eco clothes. The Government, so called, will fall over their miserable ill-thought out commitments to let it happen, intent as they are to ritually destroy the English countryside. But who is selling all this land, in one go, so that Dev doesn't have to spend decades buying it up? None other than the Co-Op. Yes, the 'caring sharing Co-Op' who once used these pastoral acres to graze cattle that supplied milk to their shops. Hang on a minute. Isn't this the Co-Op that was formed in Rochdale to benefit all of us? Apparently not.