16 FEBRUARY 1945, Page 14


SIR,—I read with interest the article on " Country Life" by Sir William Beach Thomas, and as one engaged on the production of opencast coal, I hasten to reassure him and readers of his article that opencast coal sites are not so bad as envisaged by Sir William. The production of opencast coal is under Government control, and the terms of contract include for the removal and storing of the valuable topsoil. After the coal has been excavated, the overburden is replaced and the topsoil spread and levelled over the surface. In other words, the land is restored practically to its original level, and can be brought back into full cultiva- tion twelve months from completion of the restoration.—Yours faithfully, 40 Wellington Road South, Hounslow, Middlesex. J. W. KIRK.