Letter of the week: Are we a species intent on self-destruction?

Saturday 26th March 2022 7:00 am
Fallen macrocarpa tree (Ray Roberts )

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SUSSEX is known as the wooded county. Or at least it used to be.

Trees are being felled wherever you look these days in Sussex, and in the bordering counties of Surrey and Hampshire, which comprise a popular area of the commuter belt.

Along railway sidings, on municipal land, at the edge of roads, on private property, tree stumps abound.

Local councils seem especially culpable in opening up the skyline to an unimpeded view.

In those instances where these clearances happen on a large scale, it is hard to avoid words such as ‘carnage’ to describe the end result, which is the creation of a type of no-man’s-land where nature will struggle to survive.

In an age of climate crisis, when trees have a valuable role to play in locking away the carbon that overheats our environment, bringing down these majestic giants is a particularly short-sighted thing to do.

The needless felling of trees would seem to be an apt metaphor for a species intent on self-destruction.

The extirpation of so much arboreal life can only diminish the counties in which it takes place, all of which have a long tradition of cultivating the very land they are now in the process of obliterating by axe and by chainsaw.

Many of the trees being cut are older than those doing the felling.

We need to respect these venerable denizens of our countryside, lest we go the same way, brought down by our own lack of kinship with the natural world.

Mark Stewart

Marley Lane, Haslemere

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