Waffle and eye-watering waste

THE PRESSURE on the Government to persuade schools to teach the Countryside Code as part of the curriculum continues after it became clear in the lockdown that many of those enjoying the countryside have little idea how to respect it.

Penn’s MP Dame Cheryl Gillan embarrassed Education Minister Nick Gibb in the Commons when she asked what assessment he had made on the merits of teaching the code in school. He squirmed. He prevaricated. He waffled. But in the end, the answer was: none.

Elsewhere,  the doughty Dame continues her feisty campaign against HS2. This week she got Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson to admit that when the two giant tunnelling machines begin boring their holes under the Chilterns they will need 6.5 million litres of water a day to flush away all the chalk they are drilling.

That’s the equivalent of nearly three Olympic sized swimming pools, every day, seven days a week, for three years. The water will be supplied by our local water companies, Affinity Water and Thames Water, who are forever telling us to take shorter showers and put bricks in the loo’s cistern because there’s a water shortage.