The Guardian view on ancient trees: natural monuments need protecting | Editorial

8. srpna 2022 17:45


Trees that have been standing for hundreds or thousands of years are entitled to special treatment - just like precious buildingsEfforts to increase the level of protection available to ancient - or simply old - trees in the UK have been building for some time. In 2019, Janis Fry, an artist and yew expert living in Wales, launched a petition calling for new laws that would prevent the destruction of about 157 ancient yew trees at least 2,000 years old. Since then, the chorus of disapproval about current provision has grown steadily louder (if not exactly deafening: tree enthusiasts not generally being the noisiest protesters).The launch of the Woodland Trust?s Tree of the Year competition this week - in which five venerable oaks dominate a shortlist of 12 - offers another chance to focus minds. The wider problem goes beyond the lack of protection for individual trees, and includes issues relating to the conservation of nature more broadly. While tree cover in the UK is increasing, woodland wildlife is not, and more diverse planting, including a larger proportion of native species, is needed if that is to change. The consensus among experts and charities such as the trust is that government proposals recently sent out for consultation did not go far enough. Pressure must be applied to ensure that existing protections are not only maintained but strengthened as the risks from unchecked global heating and fossil fuel production continue to increase. Continue reading...


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