Felix Dennis plants his millionth tree

English: Photo taken by me of the Baginton Oak...

Baginton Oak tree in late July 2006 one evening in Baginton, Warwickshire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A massive project to restore the woodland heart of England.  Forests are disappearing at an alarming rate throughout the world, yet it is trees which maintain the delicate balance of the planet’s ecosystems.  Tree reduction is self-destruction so projects like this give some hope.  The opening quote is from one of Felix Dennis’s poems.


The Insane Edge

“Whosoever plants a tree,
winks at immortality.”

English oak, sessile oak,
rowan, birch,
growing strong astride the Heart of England’s earth.
Hornbeam, willow, cherry, ash,
whitebeam, small-leaved lime,
caching strength to stride the plains of time.
Aspen, field maple, sweet chestnut,
a million broad-leaf trees,
cutting destiny’s abiding shape.

Our children’s children will wander,
weaving through the glass-cool glades
of a million trees,
playing hide-and-seek
beneath the sheltering canopies,
breathing life the broad-leaf trees endow
and wonder how it came to this,
how a million trees exist.
How we raped the earth,
polluted waters,
hazed the skies,
committed species genocide,
wiped out life with the stroke of an axe,
the poacher’s knife, the hunter’s gun,
the fine-mesh dragnet skeins;
and then in time, perhaps,
drew back from the insane edge
of self-destruction
and planted a million trees,
our pledge to make amends.

20th September 2013 – headline from the Guardian.

Notes:  “Felix Dennis plants his millionth tree.”  “I’m hoping that, long after I’m dead, the charity I founded will one day be the proud possessor of 25,000 acres of woodland planted with 10 million native broad-leafed trees, completely open to the public,” said Felix Dennis after the millionth tree was planted.  The project, founded in 2011, is a partnership between Dennis and the Heart of England Forest charity, which aims to plant and preserve a large native broadleaf forest in South Warwickshire, stretching from the ancient borders of the Forest of Arden – also known as Shakespeare’s Forest – south to the Vale of Evesham.

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