Cutting down trees
you know that fifteen billion trees are being cut down across the world every
year? The equivalent of 27 football fields per minute are being cleared of
trees worldwide. In forty years, the size of Europe in trees has gone. The
statistics about cutting down trees is endless.
I sat in
the light shade of an ash tree in one of our farm fields to revise for my A
levels. It was an old wide spreading tree with roots growing out of a huge hump.
Ideal for sitting on and keeping dry. I leant against the rough grey bark with
its cushion of moss. I saw the wildlife there and watched the woodpeckers and
finches on its branches (anything to distract me from revising) and towards the
dusk I heard the owls in its canopy.
quite well with my exams, but the ash did not fare so well. It was the early
1960s and more electricity for our little village was considered very important.
The ancient ash tree was cut down to make way for poles and cables. All in the
name of progress and we are still doing it even though we know that trees
absorb the dreaded carbon dioxide, provide a habitat for wildlife, prevent soil
erosion and are part of the water cycle.
when I was young we justified cutting the ash tree down for poles and wire for
electricity to be delivered to the villages, today we justify that we need
timber, space to grow palm oil (for food and cosmetics) and for animals to
graze so we can eat cheap meat.
cutting down of the single sycamore tree on Hadrian’s wall has made me wonder
about the wider picture.
thing that has made me wonder is the smart reader readings on the device on our
kitchen window. It records our electricity usage. I am shocked when I get up in
the morning and see that in the night, I have already used over £1. That will
be the two fridges and our freezer in the garage, I thought. But it seems to be
a great cost. Then I realised that it would include the standing charge for the
day and possibly VAT. We are keeping prices low so far, but colder weather is
birds in the sky are changing with the season here. Gone are the circling
swifts, swallows and warblers. I got so tired of the endless call of the
chiffchaff but now I miss its monotonous song. It is replaced by the raucous
caw of the crows as they maraud the countryside flying from perches in trees
searching for food.
(taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)