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United Kingdom - What are the obstacles if you want to plant trees with your children?

In the United Kingdom, the percentage of people who own land is around 5%. This puts the other 95% at a disadvantage if they want to help in any way in the fight against global warming.

Let me tell you about how I started. One morning I asked my older daughter: Do you want to go somewhere this weekend to plant about 10 trees and then have a picnic around them? She turned to me and said with a big smile: Yeah

I decided the day before to go to the garden center in our city (we live in Kent, England). I talked to the seller to give me information about what kind of trees would be most sustainable and suitable for this area. He told me that at the moment there are parasites on the British oak that eat the leaves of the British oak and this kills them and the fight against these pests is very difficult...

However, this is not the purpose of my post. The problem is that I chose to buy trees about 1 meter high or maybe a little taller because the chance of this tree surviving without much care is 94-96% more than seedlings where the chance of survival is only 2%. The cost of a small tree 1 meter high was £ 42. That is, the price for 10 would be £ 420 ... a bit expensive for a picnic, but because I promised my children I bought 8 trees, 2 for each, me, my wife, and my two children. Of course, I had to buy a shovel and a watering can ... another £ 35. However, money is not a problem because money is earned, and this is not done every day. The day was Friday.

We decided to do this picnic on Sunday because the weather forecast for Saturday was rain. Sunday came and everything was right. We arrived at the park (public park) where we had decided to have a picnic. We unloaded the food and the trees and tools and went to the end of the park where we decided to plant our trees to be next to the already grown trees at the end of the park so that they merge with the others.

We did not see where a worker approached us who was taking care of the park and as he explained to us, because he saw the trees in my hands. In short: He told us that we cannot plant without a permit because what is a forest according to documents is a forest, and what is a meadow according to documents must be a meadow.

From this it became clear to us that we are only for a picnic today.

That same evening, I found the right department at the council on their website. I wrote an e-mail asking questions about what I wanted to do. On Tuesday I was kindly told that I had no problem doing so, but first they had to change the status of this part of the meadow to forest status. This could take about a month.

I told them that I would expect an answer from them when that happened. I still don't have an answer from them and let me tell you that this story is from October 2020. Today is June 10, 2022.

What happened to the trees?

In November I had to travel to Gibraltar with my van. I just picked up the trees, thinking of planting them somewhere in France. I didn't find a suitable place there on my way. In Spain, somewhere around Aicante, at the foot of a mountain, I just stopped and gestured to people living there that I wanted to plant some trees there. They clapped their hands and explained that I had no problem doing so. In the end, two Spaniards and I planted them in 5 minutes. I have no worries that I planted them there, because every tree is important for our planet, regardless of its location.

It is time to summarize that the main problems are the prices for more efficient afforestation and finding a place for afforestation.

Of course, the satisfaction of contributing something, even a little, to the fight against global warming makes me feel better and more responsible. I will raise my children to care for nature, because I will quote something I heard from the American actor Harrison Ford, "Nature does not need us, we need nature!"

Posted on Facebook by Eric Gilmore

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