30 Days Wild – Day 17: Hug a tree!

Well, this isn’t quite the post I was planning for today but you know what they say about the best laid plans and all…

I’ve decided to go with this lovely tree drypoint from my time in college, when I spent most of my time in the print room hunched over a drypoint plate. Almost all my prints involved nature in some way, even though I was in the middle of a city, surrounded by brick and concrete and tall glass buildings. London has a lot of green spaces, but at that time I didn’t live, work or study very near to any of them!

Moving to Buckinghamshire was a nice change of pace. Fields, woodlands and waterways are all within walking distance again.

But I grew up in the middle of nowhere, with only the woods and wildlife as friends, so it still feels like I’m living in a city most of the time. I miss some of my favourite climbing trees from when I was a child. One in particular I can remember: a great big lime (or linden tree, as I knew it then) and it was always a tall ship, riding across the crests of the waves. The very top was the crow’s nest (in the sea-faring sense, not the nest of an actual crow, but for awhile that tree was off limits because a porcupine was up there) from which I could see the real ocean, a blue-green mass somewhere beyond the rolling fields, orchards, and pine woods.

Woodland is a very important and diverse habitat and ancient woodland in particular is very special, and it can’t be easily replaced so we have to treasure and protect it now, while we still can. The Woodland Trust has advice for planting trees but it’s also important to think of a few things before you start planting, such as:

  • Is this the right tree to plant? Different trees have different needs, so make sure the tree you plant suits your land and your needs.
  • Is this the right place to plant a tree? Just as trees have different needs, so do different habitats. Trees aren’t the right choice everywhere.
  • Will I be able to care for this tree? You can’t just stick it in the ground and hope it grows. Trees need some care and attention to really get growing, especially in the first few years.

But for now, I’m going to stop worrying and simply hug a tree!