Azara Blog: Ancient trees

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Date published: 2005/02/03

The BBC says:

Best-selling author Bill Bryson has launched a call to improve protection of Britain's ancient trees and woods.

The appeal came in an address to the all-party Parliamentary Group on Conservation and Wildlife at a meeting hosted by chairman David Kidney MP.

The Woodland Trust and the Ancient Tree Forum say there are more than 475 cases of woods threatened by development.

Mr Bryson said it was "scandalous" that ancient trees were being destroyed and called for better protection measures.
The Woodland Trust charity has estimated that Britain has more than 80% of northern Europe's ancient trees.
Mr Kidney, Labour MP for Stratford, said: "Sustainable development demands protection of our irreplaceable natural heritage.
The groups also want a living UK map of ancient trees which will enable them to monitor threats and losses.

Isn't it amazing how many people feel impelled to quote "sustainable development" as alleged justification for something they want. It is almost a sure sign that they have no real argument.

The Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Cambridge City Council recently did a veteran trees survey in Cambridgeshire. They found not many such trees in parks and gardens. One reason is that parks and gardens are maintained to be safe and tidy, and this means that "dead" or "dangerous" trees are felled. Of course society is not going to allow "dangerous" trees to survive in public places where someone might be injured or killed, for fear of lawsuits and media hysteria if nothing else. If the public domain shows such disdain for old trees it is hardly surprising that the private domain often does as well.

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