In praise of trees

Take a look out of a window and it’s likely that you’ll see a tree. They have a very reassuring presence across our urban and rural landscapes.

Trees have supplied shelter, energy, food and powered the development towards industrialisation.

We are fortunate in these Island to have such a wonderful array of trees. From a thousand year old Oak that has witnessed our evolution as a nation to the beautiful apple trees and the bountiful harvest they produce each autumn.

There is always a risk that we take trees from granted. But without our affection and care we can lose an important part of our cultural and natural history.

Many ancient trees have witnesses some of our most important national moments. From the Yew tree at Runnymeade where the Magna Carta was signed, beginning the long road to full democracy. Or the apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor where Isaac Newton lived.

Trees reflect the changing of the seasons so perfectly: the wonder that is autumn colour, the starkness of winter, the hope of spring and the lushness of summer.

As kids we climb trees, catch the leaves as they fall or collect conkers. As adults we need to re-establish this special relationship and see them as more than just figures in the landscape.

We need to celebrate their wisdom, their beauty and their heritage.

Take time to sit under a tree and see the wind gently blowing through the leaves or the sunlight illuminating the different shades of green. Or enjoy the coolness of a wood on a hot summers day.

Trees provide a link with the generations that have come before us and those yet to inhabit the earth. They deserve our affection and we must celebrate them as true heroes of the natural world.

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