Photographs of Thorpe woodlands, their varied habitats, plantlife and wildlife all taken by friends and supporters. most taken between 2010 and 2013

Friday, 6 July 2012


Rumours of dissent among the trustees of the Thorpe & Felthorpe Trust have been circulating for months.  In January we were told by a reliable source that at least one of the five trustees was opposed to the concept of destroying Thorpe's woodlands. However, because our source wouldn't disclose any names, we didn't publish anything.

Now we know that Henry Mayhew, husband of the locally notorious Gail Mayhew (see 'Meet The Mayhews' and 'Gail Warning' on this blog for much more info on who's who within the T&FT) has become so disenchanted with life as a London based mega-capitalist that he's given it all up for a hut in the woods.

The Secret History Of Our Streets, broadcast on BBC2 on 3rd July 2012 (available on BBCiplayer until 18th July and well worth watching) traced the evolution of Portland Street in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea from 1950s slummy bedsit-land to its 21st century shockingly expensive and ultra fashionable location for London's idle rich.  Past and present residents were interviewed, among whom were Henry Mayhew who was happy to recount to an audience of millions how he had only come to own his house because "my wife made me buy it".  He went on to explain that Gail (whose name he avoided mentioning) made him buy it because she thought it would be a good investment.  She was, Henry stated with a commendable lack of visible bitterness, right as always.

Henry was obviously far from happy with his lot.  The idea of living in an 'investment' had clearly become absurd to him and he craved something more meaningful.  Portland Street, Henry told us, was deathly boring, inhabited only by investment bankers who had grabbed the taxpayers' cash doled out to them by a stupid government - supposedly intended for lending to small businesses - and spent it all on their trendy houses.  I got the feeling that Henry really had experienced an epiphany.  Social justice and ecological sustainability go hand in hand and - as Henry seemed to have realised - any attempt to separate them ultimately comes to nothing.

Rather like Reggie Perrin, Henry knows in his heart, I feel, that what is right is for the remaining woods and forests of this world is to be left alone, not turned into housing estates.  Maybe it is as obvious to Henry as it is to us that the latter way spells madness. You might get half a century or so of apparent 'benefit' from 'developing' every available space, but time will inevitably catch up and the destruction of nature - of which building on Racecourse Plantation would be  a very significant part - will cause our grandchildren to weep.

While Henry moved into his converted shipping container somewhere in a Felthorpe forestry plantation, Gail moved into a nice house in Norwich's exclusive Cathedral Close.  Gail remains as zealous as ever in her quest for profitable development.

Look out on this blog for more news on recent developments.  There have been several, but due to such mundane things as serious medical conditions (now fully sorted thanks to the ever brilliant NHS) and tedious details such as the work we ordinary mortals who haven't got enormous legacies to tap in to need to do,  it may take a day or two to get these published.


  1. Having been 'involved' in the banking world many years ago I can see why Henry Mayhew decided enough was enough. His comment that in that employment you lived the life of a battery was frighteningly accurate. I wish him well.

  2. I saw the programme here in Aus last week and was encouraged and heartened that people like Henry exist and speak up in a world of filthily material and disgustingly ignorant people.
    Henry gives hope to everyone who gives a shit about the environment, the minds and souls of us all as indivuduals, a community, society and planet.