My week disrupted by a sudden head cold after a town visit. Also, a lightening strike disabled the modem.
Temps rising suddenly then a sudden drop. Crows, white cockatoos and currawongs in full competition over the gardens as the smaller birds go undercover.
From Environment Guardian.
What’s all this tree-planting for?” I was asked when I began writing about restoring a piece of land I had bought in Somerset as a wood-cum-orchard. The truth is, I just love trees. And I am not alone. “As I get older, all I really long for is to plant trees,” Prince Charles says in a forthcoming BBC documentary in which he is filmed in the wood he planted on the day Prince George was born. I, too, love to be among trees, and want to leave young ones behind when I die. This is why I planted them, and continue to plant them.
We have inherited mature and wonderful trees in our cities, towns, villages, gardens, cemeteries, woods and countryside. They were planted, or self-sown, years, even centuries ago. We take them for granted, ignore the creatures living among them, remain in ignorance of the good trees are doing us (cleaning the air, for instance) and cut them down for new developments. Yet we retain a feeling of affection for the idea of them, which may account for the reaction the government faced in 2010 when it sought to sell off publicly owned woods, and for the wide support the Woodland Trust attracts.
Trees need space, which is why I, a city-dweller, bought my Somerset scrubland in 1999. At that time, climate change was already well attested, so my hopes of planting long-lived oaks, beeches, walnuts, limes, cedars etc were already tempered by anxiety about their chances. Tree diseases new to the UK, wind, drought and flood were all stacking up against them.
But I did not expect things to move so fast. The woodland is still good, the new trees are growing like mad, but the creatures are in decline. The rabbits have disappeared (rabbit haemorrhagic disease, perhaps?) and the owl has moved. The bees, dragonflies, butterflies and moths are still there but in smaller numbers. If this can happen on land that is free of pesticides or herbicides, it surely indicates we need to be listening to the “rewilders”, such as those at the Knepp Estate in Sussex, about giving nature the chance to restore its own balance. Meanwhile, I love my wood, and so do many of its visitors. And tree-planting has done wonders for restoring my balance between town and country.
A Wood of One’s Own by Ruth Pavey is published by Duckworth Overlook (£14.99). To order a copy for £13.19 go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.