Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Does anyone else feel pain when they see healthy trees being cut?

This week my daughter asked me if I shared this sentiment and I was surprised - it's a thought I'd never owned up to so was interested to hear the question from such young lips.

We live in an area full of managed forestry. Up until now we've seen the planting, the growing, the wildlife moving in. We've watched foxes playing in the meadows that divide the regimented trees and families of pheasants wandering across the roads. We've seen stoats slinking along with mice dangling out of their mouths and have followed red squirrels skittering along the road so fast its a wonder their little legs can carry them as indecision floods their minds on whether to keep going or dive into the hedgerow. This week I followed a sparrow hawk as it glided in front of my car, flying less that a foot off the ground for two miles or more, turning with every twist and bend in the narrow lane way. I couldn't decide whether to be in awe of this sharp, intelligent bird of prey or dislike it for the fear and panic if fills the wrens and tits with in my garden as it swoops through.

For years we've felt our lanes tremble as the massive lorries and their trailers laden with freshly cut trunks power along the roads on their way to saw mills. I haven't given them a second thought save concern they might put my little car in the ditch, their size and power dwarfing everything in their way. Recently however, the logging has begun in forestry that lines the roads we travel along daily.

For years the lanes have been shaded by evergreen pine trees and for months on end the frost and ice seems to be permanently stuck to the tarmac, the road surface never seeing the light of day.

This winter it will be very different. This winter the landscape has changed. Where once there was shadowy darkness, now we see the aftermath of man and machinery. The changes the logging has brought to our environment are quite shocking.

I hear myself explaining to my children that this is managed woodland, the reason these trees were planted was so that they could be cut and used in industry. This is a good thing. My children express concern that the wildlife - the birds, mice, insects have now become homeless, their worlds turned upside down as a result of this felling, and I have had to do my best to calm them, reassure them that nothing will be hurt, everything will find a new home, everything that lived amongst the trees will find somewhere new to live, however disorientating it is for them now.

And yet........ I feel their concern too. I look at the temporary roads that have been carved out, the wood piles as they get higher and higher, the sunlight as it blankets soil for the first time in years and years and I imagine the turmoil this type of farming has caused for everything that resides there.

The streaming sunlight should be a good thing shouldn't it? The light and the warmth and the openness? Yet I'm looking at the sunlit twigs and branches as they lay discarded and cloaked with golden hues and I can't help but think what an enormously massive change has just taken place.

The trees can do nothing but wait patiently for their time to come. They can't move to a new home, or run away. With quiet dignity, for they have no choice, these tall, scented, prickly trees await their inevitable fate.

We are witnessing the end of life as it was for years and years in our neighbourhood and are awaiting something new....

That's a good thing ....... right?


  1. I share your concern but as it is a managed woodland, it will be replanted and the process starts again, just as we die and babies are continually born I guess . It does look ravaged at the moment though

  2. Guess that's what farming is all about Lorna though had never thought of it in terms of trees before. Glad to hear they'll replant :-)


Thanks for taking the time to comment, it's very much appreciated x