Country diary: uprooting a tree is the ultimate assault on nature


Stamford, Lincolnshire: Making the decision to fell a tree, however responsible and necessary, comes with a strange devastation

Four large trees lie within our boundary. They’re a comforting part of our number, filling views with a nature we appreciate but take for granted. All cast their shadow signatures, have voices when in leaf and asway, and carry many passengers, from squirrels to sparrowhawks.

This one, a 12-metre silver birch split mid-height into a hand of branches, has been a fine compass. Its pale bark glows amber at sunset, and silvers intensely under a bright moon. Its low trunk, with bark fissures big enough to take a hand, is slung with layers of ivy, its nooks teeming with bugs that feed all manner of garden visitors.

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