Posts Tagged ‘trees’
Having joined The National Trust this year I was happy to see that their suggestions for the top five places to see autumn colour included a relatively local place – Bodnant Garden near Conwy in North Wales. I say local – I mean less than an hour’s drive away.
M and I chose a day to go, and invited friends to accompany us, so of course it began to rain heavily as we set off that morning. Nevertheless, we were determined to go. Now I’m so glad I did. Were we too late in the year, we wondered? Had we missed that autumn colour? Luckily, we hadn’t. The gardens were a resplendent vision of dying colour even in late October.
Here are some of the best photos from that visit:
This is the final part of this tale that brings me up to Beltane. You may remember that my task from Spring Equinox to Beltane period was to discover the powers of my staff. I thought that I had done the majority of that work already, but when I did some checking to see whether there was anything remaining I was surprised to find that, with barely a week or so to go, I had more work to do. This particular evening I was called to go somewhere to discover one more power. That was an exciting prospect!
I let my mind roam to discover the location that would offer me the information about the staff. It was already late in the evening and so I hoped that the trek would not be too far. The picture I had was of a familiar place – it was Llangollen. I began to conjure up some of the usual sites – Dinas Bran? No. Vale Crucis? No. Carreg-Y-Big – the slanted standing stone that we had visited in March this year. This received a positive response – a warm feeling that flowed through the body. Yes, this was the place. I needed to visit again.
At first this was a surprising location – it is on a hilltop above Llangollen and it was 10 o’clock in the evening already! Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised. When I looked back to my previous post on the subject I had said that the best time to visit it would be early April. Here I was in the middle of April, so I wasn’t far out. I got my dowsing rods out to help gauge the energetic suitability. I had missed the “high point” of April 9th, but a week later the site would still be energetically aligned for the purposes I needed it for. That was it, then. I was going, despite the lateness. At least the weather had been unseasonably dry for a while now and the ground would be firm in the dark.
I found my way with little trouble (one wrong turn) having been there before once in daylight. The car still struggled up the hill and the engine smelled of overworked oil when I parked by the roadside at the top of the hill overlooking the orange and white lights of the town below as they filtered through the conifer branches that lined the upper slopes. I found the stone straight away by navigating to the tallest specimen in the avenue of trees that define the old straight track atop the hill. How many times had I used a tree to navigate in the dark? They really are wonderful signposts.
The Importance of an Entrance
I walked carefully up to the stone in the darkness and stood about ten feet away from it, looking around to judge whether I was going to be surprised by the ghostly figure of a late night sheep or something else. Everything was silent except for the distant rumble of a souped-up car buzzing the town in the valley below. Yet, something was wrong. Was it the biting wind? No. What was this sense of unease I had? Was there some spirit watching with malevolent eyes? … I felt not. I stopped my rational mind and let my intuition have a go at the problem. Seconds later I knew what the issue was. I hadn’t been through the right entrance to the site, having bypassed the two trees that form a portal in my haste to get to the stone itself. This was a rude entry! I needed to make amends, so I made my way at a respectable distance back around to the two trees and stood before them.
It is with the greatest of joy that I impart the news, if you haven’t heard it already, that the UK Government has decided to NOT go ahead with the plans to sell off the forests that it controls. This is fantastic news for all of us who enjoy and see the benefits of our local woodland.
In the podcast that I released only yesterday I was calling for everyone to keep up the pressure on the powers that be so that we can ensure they do not try to divert or deflect the criticism they have received so far. It would seem that they have realised now how globally unpopular this move was seen as.
“Victory! The Guardian, BBC and Independent are reporting that the government is about to scrap plans to sell our forests. Over half a million of us should feel very proud of what we’ve achieved together. Let’s keep watching but also celebrate what we’ve done!” (source: 38Degrees)
The Woodland Trust were slightly more guarded in their response to the news:
“Commenting on the decision, Sue Holden chief executive of the Trust said, “We welcome the opportunity for a more considered approach to the future of our much loved woodlands but our campaign continues. Whilst we welcome the removal of threats to public access, there is still an acute need for better protection of Ancient Woodland, our equivalent of the rainforests, and restoration of ancient woods planted with conifers.
Even if there are no sales of publicly owned forests, the worst of all worlds would be for there to be no change to the loopholes that have allowed 850 ancient woods to be threatened by built development over the past decade. Ministers have made strong commitments over the past few weeks to increase protection for ancient woods, and we will be holding them to these commitments.” (source: Woodland Trust)
Thank you to anyone who lifted a finger to assist with this campaign. Your rewards will be to know that your local woodland is safe for now, and that you can continue to enjoy the fresh air, the windbreak and soil management, the biodiversity, and the recreational space that these woodlands provide.
And I thought democracy was dead! Today I feel slightly less cynical. Power to the people!
Things are heating up with the UK woodland sell-off debate. Actually, there is no debate. At least three-quarters of those surveyed did not want this legislation to go ahead. I think this is quite heartening – there is an obvious wave of objection to the idea of putting our woodland areas into the hands of private companies for “management”. For ‘management’ read ‘commercialisation’. And for ‘commericalisation’ understand that this means ‘profit’. How, exactly, does one make a profit from woodland by keeping it unchanged, properly managed and available for locals to wander around in? You don’t! That won’t happen.
What will happen is that woodland will be subjected to:
- Being turned into some kind of theme park – by adding ventures such as ape-like climbing facilities, mountain biking trails, gift shops and food stalls.
- Having ancient trees mown down and sold off, to be replaced by the faster-growing varieties of wood such as conifers, thus reducing the inherent biodiversity of what is left of our native primitive woodland.
- Accessible public woodland being fenced off in order to protect the commercial investment.
Access to woodland will inevitably become more restricted – it’s just in the nature of people who make investments that they become territorial about land. Just look around you at the bigger detached houses in your area – are they open? Are you allowed to walk across their gardens? Of course not – they’re in private hands and fenced off.
These are just the inevitable consequences of the commercial mindset. There is no profit for commerce in preservation. It’s just not how they work. If the present system of woodland management is cumbersome and overwrought, then reform it. The current government’s answer is to sell the problem off to the highest bidder, and TRUST that they will “do the right thing”. Of course, it’s not the government’s fault if they don’t. Then it’s an issue for the individual citizen to take up directly with the offending corporation. That is called the devolution of responsibility, and it is a shameful act by any government who is supposed to care about our nation’s heritage. Our birthright, I would say.
The statement below is from the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website, and states quite categorically that 15% of the available woodland has ALREADY been given away BEFORE the consultation. The rest, it says, is open for discussion:
“The Government has already committed to taking 15% of the public forest estate out of state control over the course of this parliament, generating up to £100million of receipts. The consultation paper launched today invites views on a range of ownership and management options for the remaining 85% of the estate. This will be an open consultation and Government will listen to all responses before publishing its response in the summer.” (source: DEFRA)
I recently wrote to my MP about the issue (with a helping hand from the ‘38 Degrees‘ protest site), and I received a response that was trying to be palliative and re-assuring, but which in fact just raised a number of deeper concerns for me. I will now be posting this response onto the 38 Degrees site to see just how pre-determined the response was.
Here is a link to the latest news about the swell of opinion about this issue. If this goes ahead I am going to take direct action. I really object to having the course of my life diverted away from my spiritual quest in this way because I normally try to stay out of politics, but this is a truly objectionable piece of legislation that MUST be stopped.
I hereby predict that the current public consultation “exercise” will be nothing short of a scam and a farrago. Nothing will be decided except the existing course of action – the commercialisation of (apparently) 18% of our woodlands.
The Government have today back-tracked in a major way, getting their prettiest speaker to release a statement that included the following stated safeguards. Here they are listed out, and my interpretation of what I think they really mean:-
“There are numerous safeguards in place which will ensure that public benefits provided by our woods and forests are protected if they pass into private ownership. These safeguards include:
- regulations governing felling and replanting; [the guys with the chainsaws will have to wear hard hats and goggles]
- protection for biodiversity through the Wildlife and Countryside Act and Sites of Special Scientific Interest; [if your local woodland isn't scientifically interesting and unique then it's for the chop]
- incentives to protect ancient woodland; [companies will have to weigh up whether the measly 'incentive' from the Government outweighs the massive cash they will get from chopping it all down]
- guarantees for public access – the majority of the freehold areas of the public forestry estate are protected for access on foot by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act; [areas that are already well-trodden and full of mountain bikes will remain so - quiet woodland paths will be fenced off]
- protection of ancient monuments is overseen by English Heritage; [and what a fine job they've done of places like Silbury Hill - now inaccessible for the last seven years since they allowed its summit to collapse]
- any proposals for development would be subject to the Town and Country Planning process; and [planning applications will be dealt with by the usual 'buddy' system of back-handers on the gold courses and favours for companies that the planning committee have a stake in]
- Biosecurity – the Plant Health Act sets out a legal framework for the control of pests and diseases of forest tress and timber. [if the trees we're selling are no use, it's not our fault - it was sold as seen - just cut it all down and re-plant with conifers] “
Now, I’m not trying to tell you what to think, or how to react, but I am getting vocal and physical about making my own point of view heard and seen on this issue. I ask you to look at how you feel about this too, and then take whatever course of action you feel appropriate and worthy.
No polls. No petitions. No lobbying. Just action. Can you hear my anger? Good.
Gwas The Arborophile.
I don’t usually get political but when it comes to trees it’s a different matter. Over the last few months I have become quite passionate about the preservation, conservation and re-planting of trees in the UK. Recently my attention was drawn to the flooding happening in other countries, so I decided to see if there was any link between deforestation rates and the chances of flooding. What I found shouldn’t have astonished me really, but it did. Every country with a high rate of deforestation was being affected every year by devastating and widespread flooding. Surely no coincidence?
Can a connection be made or is the weather system on a global scale too difficult to determine and makes such connections seem pointless, and the flooding is just a coincidence? Here are some statistics on deforestation rates, and some links with recent flooding stories.
I visited Brisbane in 2009. It was a city that made me fall in love with it, but I couldn’t live with the flies pestering all the time. I became accustomed to the “Aussie Wave”, a motion one performs when brushing flies from your face all the time. It’s true – everyone looks like they’re waving all the time. That was its endearing side, but on a more serious note the papers regularly seemed to have articles discussing the degree of deforestation – for and against battling it out in the media for the voters’ attention. Well, perhaps the floods have caught the attention of the people of North East Australia this year?
Here’s an article from 2009 stating that Queensland’s deforestation rate is higher than any other part of Australia: http://www.wwf.org.au/news/queensland-land-clearing/
Here are some figures about the increase in rates of deforestation between 1995 to 1999.
I visited Sri Lanka on my honeymoon way back in 1995. I loved the place but was overcome by the degree of poverty that the majority of people lived in. One of the main ways they could try to overcome that poverty seemingly was to cut down their indigenous forest and sell the wood for making furniture that ended up in our stores in the UK and elsewhere. Well, those trees “don’t grow on trees” as it were – they’re not growing back at the same rate that we’re cutting them down.
Top 5 nations for deforestation in 2005:
Take a look at this chart which shows the Top 5 nations for the amount of deforestation of primary forests in 2005. Now, as an experiement I went online to see if there had been any recent news of flooding in those countries. Well, here you go, these are mostly stories from 2010/11:-
- Nigeria – http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/09/24/nigeria-floods-dams.html
- Vietnam – http://www.gmanews.tv/story/203798/41-dead-in-vietnam-floods-19-on-bus-still-missing
- Cambodia – http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39755855/ns/business/
- Sri Lanka – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/13/sri-lanka-floods-people-flee-homes
- Malawi (2006) – http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Malawi-floods-displace-thousands-20060102
By another calculation of theannual change in forest cover (1990-2005), here’s another catelogue of destruction, all taken from 2010 only:-
- Brazil – Flooding affects 97,000 homes in North East Brazil, and the current headlines,
- Indonesia – Flash floods kill 108 in Indonesia
- Myanmar – 63 die on flooding in Myanmar
Believe me, the rest of those nations cutting down trees don’t fare well either! Congo had terrible floods last year, and the list goes on and on and on. Just pick ANY of those countries listed in that graph and do a search – flash floods, death tolls, reservoirs and rivers bursting thier banks, people displaced, lives ruined, homes swept away.
In total, between 2000-2005 the world lost 3,745,546,000 hectares of forest in the most active 20 countries. We don’t have figures for the rest of the world as well, but we can guess that the figure would only increase substantially.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
1. Plant a tree.
Make it your mission this year to plant at least ten trees. I will be doing this – buying rooted young trees and planting them on common land. You could do this too, and you would start to make your own tiny tiny impact upon reversing this figure. To help with that aim I have joined the Landshare scheme (details below).
2. Sponsor a tree-planting charity in one of the nations affected.
Harder, and you can never be sure the money is going to the right place, but if you want to go on holiday to one of those coutnries, then why not take your tree-planting initiative with you? All it takes is to find some seeds whilst you’re there, and plant them in fertile ground.
Here’s a start: Tree Aid
This is the charity to which I have started regularly donating money this year. If you would prefer a UK-based project, they have one of those too:
UK-based scheme: LandShare, Blackmoor Nursery & Tree Revolution
It may not be affecting you personally, but it’s affecting someone not too far away from you. We’re not immune to the effects of flooding in this country. You can make an impact even in a small way by either fighting to preserve your local woodland, parks and lone trees against inconsiderate felling. You can re-plant trees yourself. Who else is going to do it?
Saving his home one tree at a time.
UPDATE: Talking of getting political, here’s a post on Philip Car–Gomm’s blog which talks about The Conservative Party’s environmental record as it affects trees.
In an attempt to appear well-read and topical I have gathereed together a series of news articles that have garnered my interest this month. They are on a wide range of topics, some environmental, some energy-related and some beyond those. Here are some stories that roused my interest this month:-
1. Wi-Fi is killing trees
Comment: Nothing riles me more than stories about the abuse of trees. This was bound to “push my buttons”. I think that our headlong leap into new technologies has always happened without proper consideration of the consequences – that in itself is one of the consequences of our Aquarian quest for The New. However, once we have identified a potential issue like this, surely we should be considering the wider effects on us too? Some dowsers have been raising this issue for a while in the health forums, but of course no-one takes dowsers seriously.
Here are some useful links on this topic:-
- Glastonbury’s reaction to being bombarded by wifi signals: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3966373/Alternative-health-capital-turns-its-negative-energy-on-pioneering-wi-fi-system.html
- The GeoPathFinder site’s explanation of the elements involved in this discussion: http://www.geopathfinder.com/9801
2. We CAN predict the future, study shows
Comment: Some of us have known this for a long time. Those of us who have had experiences of time distortion already know that time is a mutable and flexible concept. This study is once again demonstrating that we have the everyday ability to warp time in order to sneak a peek at the near future. Those who communicate with entities who are outside of our normal scale of time will also know that time is an elastic concept which only becomes solified under common concensus. Here, at last, is some definitive scientific proof that will get swept far far underneath the carpet, and then trampled down for good measure. You heard it here, folks.
3. Giant Energy Structure at the centre of our Galaxy
Comment: Is this a recognition of the emerging energy that will shape our consciousness in the next few years? Is it the light that will signify a transition into a new Age of Aquarius as it reaches us? Keep your antennae twitching, sensitive folk, this could be interesting!
4. Ball-bearing theory of Stonehenge creation
Comment: Balls being the operative word here. The article is pure speculation, but it’s a step up from the rolling logs theory. However, it only take a few seconds thought to imagine that it would have been one hell of a job for them to contain the spherical objects they used to prevent them from rolling awa out of the sides as the rocks were moved up and down slopes.
5. Druids alive and kicking and promoting Tory values on Anglesey
Comment: If he was truly a druid he’s be independent, not allied to any party. Cheeky beggar! Using the Druids’ good name for his own personal benefit. Grrr!
A long time ago (although the way Kal and I are measuring time these days it might have been a few weeks ago) I took a friend who was getting into dowsing to a road that I knew well. I had been noticing lots of near misses along the road and had even felt peculiar passing over various places in the road. Now I wanted to check whether the road had any negative black stream energy passing over it, so I took my friend along to make the job of dowsing easier, and to see if we got similar results.
I sent my friend to the far end of the road, whereas I started at the near end. We were separated by about a quarter of a mile, and we walked towards each other. I could see in the distance that he was stopping every now and again, and re-tracing his steps. I had also found something. At several points down the road there were wide bands of dark energy flowing down the slope of the hill across which the road scythed. The bands were of a strength rating of around 7 (on a scale of 1-10) – a rating which meant that they were becoming a problem.
We met and confirmed each others’ findings. There were several streams of negative energy flowing across the lower half of the road too. Could we determine their source? If they were flowing down the hill, all of them, then wouldn’t their source be further up the hill? The rods indicated that there was a single source, and that it was near the top of the hill. As we were narrowly avoiding death by standing on this small country road as it was, and there was nothing visible near the top of the hill, I decided to leave finding the source until another day.
Several months passed. Spring and then Summer passed. I was travelling home past the top of the hill several times a week now, and my eye had begun to be attracted by a lane. Where did it go? It looked like it might go to the top of this “problem hill”. Might the source of the black streams be found along that path? The pressure mounted and the near misses on the road below seemed increasingly dangerous until one evening I decided to go and look.
The track was used as an entrance to one house, but was at the back of others which bordered the problem road below. The land was easy to walk, slightly overgrown and peaceful. Was there really a source of black energy up this way, I wondered? I got my rods out and dowsed:-
- “Is there a source of black stream energy accessible from this lane?” – pretty precise, I thought. YES, came the response.
- “Is the source of the black stream energy within half a mile?” – YES. Good. I didn’t intend spending all evening finding it!
I didn’t have long to wait. The lane bent slightly and suddenly the road that I had walked in from disappeared from view. Almost immediately I saw a heap of whiteness ahead of me. What was it? As I neared I began to recognise shapes – bit of plastic guttering, sheets of plasterboard, mastic casings, cardboard, lengths of painted wood….the list went on and on. Here was a dump of faded building material, clearly ripped out from a house nearby and then dumped by an unscrupulous builder to avoid time, expense and hassle!
As I stood there aghast at this blot on the country loveliness around my head began to tighten. I was developing a headache! I moved away until the pressure eased, which was about twenty feet back down the path. Something had to be done. By me. I mustered my resources, put up some protection, and then ventured back into the fray to sort this out.
My protection guarded against being drained by this black source, yet I looked around for any alliance upon which I could draw. This was going to take more energy than I had on my own. I went into trance and felt around for compatriots amongst the nearby trees – some were willing but most were afraid to get involved. I admonished them (yes, I did, I told trees off – but it worked) and they relented in the face of my passionate plea. I called upon all the trees within the line of sight, especially the bigger ones, all the hedges, and finally all the shrubs and plants, to join together to help me put an energetic cage around this heap of crap in order to seal the dark force inside it and let the land heal. As I shaped the sphere of white strands of light around the pile I felt the gradual inclusion and collusion of the local plant life working with me. That made it really easy. Once the work was done I went around thanking the trees for their help.
A day later I dowsed for the effect: before I shielded the pile the black source was registering as a 9 out of 10. A day later the influence was at a level of 0.5 on the scale. Nearly dropping off the scale! I drove down the road affected by the black streams too and the road felt a little wider somehow! All I need to do now is convince (or shame) the local council into removing the rubbish. Or doing it myself if they won’t.