London (change)
20 messages
28/03/2014 at 12:43

I agree, Mike, trees are wonderful - magnificent -  beautiful  - life-giving - strong - peaceful.  Walking through a forest we watch the wildlife, the wild plants growing and feel more peaceful in ourselves.  Trees are always growing and changing by the seasons.  They are like mankind: we grow, we change, we mature. 

28/03/2014 at 13:56

They are the nearest thing to god Mike and we can see and appreciate them every day.

28/03/2014 at 14:03

And where would we be without them I wonder....

28/03/2014 at 15:56

Full of mushrooms Fairygirl, Full of mushrooms!!!

One can dream.

28/03/2014 at 16:35

Really good subject, Mike.....the tree's contribution to mankind is incalculable. The first wheel was made by early Mespotamians from solid wood.

28/03/2014 at 17:14

Wonderful things, trees.  Oxygenators, house & shipbuilding and all the things you say,  Mike.  Fruit   Providers of whole ecosystems: a single mature oak tree can be home to 500 other species!

The whole country was covered with them till our ancestors cut them down from 10 000 years ago.  Never cut one down without planting three in its place!  When I die I want an English oak planted on top oif me.

28/03/2014 at 19:23

Wish you guys had been here when they cut down the tree opposite.  When the developers bought the meadow to put up a housing estate, they were made to protect the tree, which was the one thing we were bothered about - ie. the view out the front.  They had to chop the land back, but bought a whole lot of old railway sleepers to encase the tree in a sort of outsized planter.  The idiots who bought the house opposite then proceeded to plant a load of annuals under the tree - geraniums and the like.  'They won't grow there' I told OH, and sure enough, they couldn't compete with the tree.  The next year, one morning, I awoke to the sound of buzz saws, and looking out, to my horror, saw them cutting down the tree.  We rang the council and said 'Hang on - that tree has a preservation order on it'.  The council said that it had had to be preserved while the developers built their estate, but now it belonged to the morons opposite, it was theirs to do what they liked with.  Their house now looks like a barren, ugly expanse of brickwork.  The trunk of the tree has been turned into 'wood sculpture' by a mediocre chainsaw artist.  The stupid annuals now grow in a sea of grey chippings.  It was like watching a friend being executed. 

28/03/2014 at 19:26


I caught the end of an Alan Titchmarsh programme about woodland this afternoon. He was talking about how Britain was covered in forest and that a squirrel, if he was so inclined, could have travelled from the north of Scotland to the south of England without ever touching the ground.

28/03/2014 at 19:26

Life itself is an amazing event and the very fact that nature allows us to interact in some small way is very therapeutic. Yes, Mike is right, many people don't need medicating at all and all they need is exposure to the great outdoors and someone to listen to what they have to say.


28/03/2014 at 19:33

Please note that I know there are people who genuinely do need and benefit from medication and in no way intended to insult them before I receive the usual angry barage of private messages that accompany pretty much anything I post!

28/03/2014 at 19:48
Have to agree Mike great thread to, with out trees we would die or have to live in some horrible oxygen bubble building unable to go outside with out having to wear masks etc..I am a green volunteer and there is nothing more pleasurable than planting new trees and a few year later seeing the transformation on some of the nature parks we work on
29/03/2014 at 09:45

Working in an ancient woodland sounds like a brilliant job, Mike!

As far as trees blowing down is concerned, well -  that's just part of life.  More will grow.  But it's the wholesale clear-felling of natural or semi-natural woodland that's the problem..  The cultivated Sitka spruce & Scots pine plantations of the Lake District etc. are a crop, albeit with a maturity time of 30 years....  I'd rather have mixed deciduous everywhere, but, sadly, that ain't gonna happen.

You're fortunate to have firecrests as well as the others in your garden!  I've never even seen one!

29/03/2014 at 11:07

We are surrounded by woodland here in SW France (hence the 82 for department Tarn et Garonne) and see most of the birds Mike Allen has mentioned.  No Great Tits though, nor Firecrests, but we do have Golden Orioles and Hoopoos in the summer. 

Has anyone read the two Patrick Leigh-Fermor books about his walk as a young man from London to the Black Sea in 1920-something - through forests all the way!  Absolutely fascinating books, incidentally.

29/03/2014 at 11:10

I'd love to read about your time at Oxleas Woods Mike 

29/03/2014 at 11:19

Steve 309, we have similar views, I have told my family I am to be buried in the garden and an Oak planted on top so as I decompose it will be fed.My family are appalled.I have planted a tree for every friend that has died, rather than send flowers.I have also planted trees for happy occasions, a Prunus "the Bride" is in flower now and   commemorates my daughters wedding.

29/03/2014 at 11:55

I used to ride in Epping Forest. It was such a beautiful, magical place.

29/03/2014 at 20:22

I wonder whether if everyone planted one tree in their lifetime, that would be enough, or whether we should all plant five.  So far, I have planted a prunus, a poplar, a willow, an apple tree, a quince, an acer, a eucalyptus (RIP - winter 2010/11 - say no more) and have two pear trees and a magnolia in buckets, waiting for the right place and time.  It is an addictive habit.  But it would be good if everyone were taught that it was their responsibility to plant at least one tree in their lifetime - could we get it on the national curriculum I wonder?

29/03/2014 at 20:31

Several I think, BB; what a good idea.   My friends (who have a couple of acres) have planted many, and I helped - does that count?  (I have a tiny yard.)

And another brilliant idea, AWB.  I'd like to do that....if I can find the space....  Maybe some guerrilla forestry?

30/03/2014 at 11:29

Mike, the New Forest is a long way from south west France!  We are quite near the Pyrenees.  The Hoopoe is a magnificent bird, but its cry "Poo, poo, poo, ...." is very annoying to my mind, so I hope your daughter doesn't get too many of them!

We had a red squirrel in our garden today.  Quite a few of them around this year - they must have liked the mild winter we had down here.

30/03/2014 at 11:33

According to Bill Oddie, the hoopoe is only seen on vicars' lawns.....

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