Saturday, July 14, 2012

Save a tree!

The title of this post sounds rather like one of those silly car-window stickers you can buy in holiday resorts - 'preserve wildlife - pickle a squirrel'. ;)

It isn't, though. This time I'm serious. The powers-that-be at the Lake District National Park authority have decided, for reasons best known to themselves, to cut down a large and beautiful monkey-puzzle tree in the grounds of their HQ and main Lake District visitor centre at Brockhole, on the shores of Windermere.

The tree is old, and a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. But apparently it wasn't in the original plans for the garden at Brockhole and therefore it has to go. Even though the public like it. Even though there's nothing wrong with it physically. And even though those same powers-that-be have recently installed a tree top zipwire and boardwalk thingie that would certainly not have been in the original garden plans.

It's all very silly, not least because a garden is an organic entity that constantly grows and changes. Who's to say the original owner of the garden wouldn't have planted a monkey-puzzle himself if he'd been given a sapling or some seeds? Who decides that later changes to the garden are somehow 'wrong' and have to be ripped out? And who decides to destroy a healthy, beautiful and rare specimen on a whim?

If, like me, you'd like to add your name to the growing list of people anxious to save the tree, you can sign a petition here:

And thank you!

1 comment:

marianne birkby said...

Hi Fiona, many thanks for your posting. The original owners did plant the monkey puzzle - they were rich merchants and cousins of Beatrix Potter. The garden designer they employed was Thomas Mawson and he hated monkey puzzles-called them "freaks of nature"! Anyway the original owners galloped down to plant their tree as soon as Mawson had left the garden. The monkey puzzle deserves to stay.

The national park are hoping to receive £5m of Heritage Lottery money to "restore" the gardens which means felling ... MADNESS..