28 May 1998
While reading the Garden of Cyrus atop Ilkley Moor, it struck me how alike an early 20th Century electrical Railway telegraph (as referred to in the Windsor magazine - 1904/5), was to the Quincuncial Plantations of the Ancients. Though to describe Ilkley Moor as a similar Lozenge, would be pushing things too far. The network of plantations springing up across it’s northern face, may in part be natural, but many are artificial. And while those stones and boulders with cups and spirals upon their forms are often given a mystical nature, one must consider the effects by trees on these artefacts. Given that a majority may or may not have been buried for over five millennia.
But, why are we allowing such plantations to take over the near untamed character of Ilkley Moor? Agrarians who spend their lives in close unison with Nature know and respect her powers. Is it fear or lack of this respect which prompts Urban Man to plant trees, in wide open spaces? This is, after all, Yorkshire! Were it Sardis, one could understand Xenophon’s feelings, but his treaties on the Horse are of more importance to those people of Wharfedale who follow in his tradition. At least try to!
Had Dr Thomas Brown visited Ilkley he would, no doubt, view Ilkley Moor with an eye of incredulity. For those able to see and hear, speak and think for themselves, have often quoted how moorland for which this town became known worldwide, is taking a downward spiral and has been for over a quarter century. How long are you, the residents of this Town, going to allow this spiral to continue? That which many of you moved to this area for, is in part, fast becoming eroded, grown over and worst of all, forgotten. Compaired to the Garden of Cyrus, your valley is becoming lost to the humours and vapours of modernity.
For what will Ilkley be remembered at the end of the third Millennia?