Tag Archives: trees

Save our Planet…plant more Trees.

10 Feb

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The weather is the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment. Since before Christmas we have been battered by Atlantic storms. Another one is building out there…reckoned to strike on Wednesday. This morning we had snow.

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It was pretty for the short time it lasted… soon to be washed away by rain. Then there was a period of sunshine. All the seasons in one day.

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The rain has been so constant this Winter…it wears one down. So hard for farmers and animals not to mind the folks whose homes have been flooded here in Ireland and in England. Visiting Tipperary last week it was amazing to see lakes where they never were. At least the Swans are happy.

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Great article in The Guardian newspaper today about this whole topic. You can read it here  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/13/flooding-public-spending-britain-europe-policies-homes

In the article George Monbiot talks about how European Union agricultural policies are adding to the flooding woes. I presume the same policies apply here in Ireland.

“Water sinks into the soil under trees at 67 times the rate it sinks into the soil under grass. The roots of the trees provide channels down which the water flows deep into the ground.”

I always believed trees were an important part of protecting the land but this is an astonishing fact to contemplate. The message is clear…planting trees helps protect our Planet.

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Further into the article it is revealed that if you are to receive your Single Farm Payment (from European Union), the largest component in farm subsidies, the land has to be free of  “unwanted vegetation.” This includes tree cover.

So…with no trees and shrubs to slow down the rain run off it all flows straight down the hills…probably taking topsoil with it…into the rivers and into the towns and villages causing….yes! you’ve guessed it…flooding.

I’m sure you’ll all agree that it’s crazy to be driving landowners into removing tree cover from land. It leaves the land without shelter for wildlife and farm animals not to mind the damage to the land itself. I think the people in Brussels who devise these policies need some new advisors…preferably ones with some love of the Planet and maybe an interest in Permaculture…as opposed to a love of money. Production is their only goal…and it seems like it’s damn the consequences.

Forests.

8 Dec

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Forests are places where we can get back in touch with our inner selves,

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where we can get away from the stresses of the world about us,

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where we can breathe in the sounds and scents of nature,

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where for a short time nothing else matters but being there…in the Forest.

The daily walk.

21 Nov

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The great thing about having dogs is that they make you take exercise. If they are not taken for at least one walk a day your life will be made hell by the dirty looks from the creatures. We have 55 acres of forest behind our house…not ours I might add…and lucky for us we have the owners permission to walk there. Five of these acres are used as a research area so they have nice paths through the trees and the trees are brashed. Brashed is when the bottom branches are taken off the trees.

Sometimes we go to the forest through the gate at the bottom of the garden…

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other times we head out through the Ash tree plantation to the west of our house. The dogs run ahead excitedly but come back if I am dallying.

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Out onto the lane where a short time ago we were picking Blackberries galore. The dogs weren’t impressed with the fruit picking…they just want to walk…and sniff and investigate.

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On to the wooden bridge and into the forest.

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Looking back up through the trees the cottage and polytunnel can be glimpsed.

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On we go…

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until we come to the boundary between the forest and the next door farm. Along this boundary is a wonderful line of Beech trees…

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probably planted by the gentry who once counted these lands among their estates. The once beautiful hunting lodge called Bella now derelict.

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Inquisitive cattle stand and stare.

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Fallen Beech leaves make a soft carpet to walk on.

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Lettie wants to go back in the forest.

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Lots of fungi growing amongst the Spruce trees here. Unfortunately these are False Chanterelles. Pity!

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They are pretty though.

Time for home. It will all be done again tomorrow but no matter how often I walk here it always feels nice and fresh and new. So many paths to explore. Scents to enjoy. Birdsong to listen too. Wood to collect to keep the home fire burning bright.

The beauty and bounty of Nature right on our doorstep.

 

A Woodland Burial.

13 Mar

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Have you decided what will happen to your earthly remains when your soul leaves this planet? Maybe some of you will think this morbid but it’s one thing that’s a definite for every living thing on this planet.  We will all leave…sooner or later.

I have always thought that I would like to lie under a nice tree and fertilise it’s growth.

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Today while flicking through Facebook I came across this poem. I think it’s brilliant.

WOODLAND BURIAL by Pam Ayres.

Don’t lay me down in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall

Where the dust of ancient bones has spread dryness over all.

Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold

Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.

There  kindly and affectionately plant a native tree

To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.

The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way

To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.

To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done

I’ll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the Sun.

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In light of our governments plan to sell of our forests to pay for the debts of the banks which have been foisted on the Irish people maybe we should pledge our bodies to growing new forests for the people of Ireland.  No! I jest you not,  selling the Irish forests, which belong to the people of Ireland is currently being seen as  a viable proposition to pay the fat cat bankers as demanded by the IMF( International Monetary Fund).

To me it’s too much of a coincidence that this comes as our new friends in China want more beef and the EU drop milk quotas in the near future. Lots of land wanted for all this production.  A sacrifice too far methinks.

Why not try and do something to stop this. In the UK a similar plan was abandoned because of public outcry. Lobby your local TDs and other so called public representatives. Get out there and use OUR woodlands…while they’re still there. Take your friends and children…they will love it.  If you would like to join with others take a look at www.bardsinthewoods.com . Wonderful walks, poems and picnics in beautiful places. 

Our woodlands need us now…and into the future too.

Bridget x

There is an online petition which goes to the President, Michael D Higgins and the Irish Government. Please sign and share. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/help-save-irelands-forestry/ .

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