(June 2005) Save our Trees

I am completely dismayed each time I find yet another beautiful mature tree has disappeared. We have so few of them left. One I know to have been cut unnecessarily and possibly illegally by the electricity providers, but the others have presumably been removed following the advice of tree consultants. The consultants have to cover themselves legally, and so they present a “worst case scenario”. No doubt it is possible to find reasons to say that there is a risk that every tree will fall down, but where do we stop? Shall we cut down every mature tree and be done with it? This is utter madness – part of the fear which seems to be gripping people these days, perhaps because of the way the media relentlessly dwells on it at all hours of the day and the “no win, no fee” suing situation. There is a tree in the centre of a neighbouring village which was pronounced dead 13 years ago. It is overlooking the main street and near buildings, but the villagers, very sensibly in my view, love it and will not allow it to be cut down. Several lovely mature trees have been cut in the grounds of Sibtord School. There was a good reason for this in one case I know of, but what about the others. OK new trees can be planted, but what about the intervening 50 years while we wait for these to become mature. When will common sense and sanity prevail over fear? Some people will remember the village before dutch elm disease – our villages had many, many more big trees then. Surely we should be preserving the remaining few at all costs? Have people forgotten that apart from their beauty and consequent effect on the quality of our lives and their essential role in the chain of nature (supporting a great variety of wildlife), they also help to purify our air – so necessary in today’s polluted environment – even here in the countryside.

Suzy Straw