I am a freelance photographer passionate about nature and forest photography. Regularly I go for early morning walks in the forest looking for dim morning lights that give that special feeling and mood to my photos. It was one of those nice morning for a walk…at least this is what I thought.
There are several places I visit within Breda. One of them is the Liesbos. So, I packed my camera and head off to one of the paths I like to visit.
While driving along the main road, I noticed some unusual movements through the woods. I was not sure what was happening but I had some odd feeling. I parked the car at a familiar spot, grabbed my camera and walk towards the forest. As I approached the path, my blood froze.
Typically, my walks are beautifully accompanied by birds singing. Often, I am the only one walking around except for some occasional morning walkers. However, no birds to be heard. No empty paths to be seen. No silence around me.
Astonished, destruction was before me. The sound of electrical sawing machine was echoing through the tall trees. The wheel prints of big trucks were crossing the paths. There was hardly green grass visible ahead. I kept looking around, speechless till the unthinkable happened: hundreds of trees piled up creating enormous wooden walls along the path.
I stood in disbelief not realizing what was before me. I started to walk further surrounded by tree trunks laying on the wet and wounded ground. It felt like walking through an open-air cemetery. In between the sound of falling tree and the petrifying sound of electric saws, I could hear a big machine coming closer. A few seconds after, a bulldozer made its way through the standing trees. It was full of chopped trees. It stopped close to the one of wood-made walls. A big mechanical arm came out of nowhere and started to unload the trunks on top of an existing pyramid of trunks, making it higher and higher.
I am not sure I can truly describe how I felt and what the scene looked like. I felt disgusted, powerless…nearly sick. At first, my hands were frozen in disbelieve. I was not sure whether I wanted to go away or to stop these guys from keeping on destroying the forest. I quickly realize that the best I could do was to take my camera and report this mass destruction of young and old healthy trees. I started to walk around, following these guys during their activities. I am not blaming them for doing their job but I wander why no one was there to contain the damage. I stayed for about 25 min taking photos and kept wondering why. Why is this happening?
There was a sign saying that some cutting activities were going on with the goal to create more space….is that too much space? Maintaining our parks and forests healthy is one thing, mass destruction of 100s of trees is another.
I am not sure whether these images will be appreciated, ignored, criticized, commented, shared or even seen. No matter what the result is, I felt that publishing them was the least I could do in favor of a forest that has given me dozens of wonderful photos and means to support of my photography efforts.
With great sadness…I will look forward to find back the peaceful feeling of walking through the woods, in company of singing birds and green grass under my feet.