Reading Spiky stars of summer’s golden gang – about the goldfinches and the gorse – in the Guardian’s Country Diary section reminded me of the gorse thicket along the railway line to the east of Huntingdale station. It even had the occasional small flock of goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) that would fly out, calling in alarm, pink pink pink, as I rode past.

I’d seen it for years from the bike path, a 2m high near impenetrable thicket, encased on all sides by chainlink fences, but with a broken-down gate and torn fence sections allowing access for the dumping of stolen goods and fly-tipped household rubbish. In my younger day I’d have gone in exploring, it looked ideal for a cubby house or hideaway. Who knows how many other generations of local kids – and no-so-young – have lived or played or slept rough in there.

I rode up past it on [2017-07-24 Mon] evening to find that as part of the LXRA works the entire lot has been grubbed out and its now a patch of bare mud, to be incorporated into an expanding acreage of car parks. I wonder how many rabbits, foxes and feral cats came bolting out as they cleared it, and how many “interesting” finds were made. For years I’d periodically thought I should stop and take a photo of it when the gorse was in flower, but I never did.

Now its just another part of the endless moonscape mudscape.