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What a weird idea

Study suggests existence of up to 2.1m ancient and veteran trees in England
Researchers find there could be many more ancient trees than previously recorded, amid calls for better protections

So if we’ve got a couple of million of the buggers then why do they need protecting? We are, after all, at the good end of the Kuznets Curve, where nature is expanding again…..

18 thoughts on “What a weird idea”

  1. What baffling reverse logic. Things are far better than we thought, oh noes, something must be done.

  2. “So if we’ve got a couple of million of the buggers then why do they need protecting?”

    Because if we don’t, people who value financial gain above all else will destroy them. And we’ve got several million of those buggers.

  3. When I look at some of those pictures of the trees Sam, they don’t look as though they’d be worth the bother of destroying.

  4. Boganboy,
    I’m sure you could argue that the reason bristle cones last thousands of years is that you can’t make anything useful out of them.

  5. Boganboy & RlJ:

    I’m sure you’re right. But the main threat is that they are simply in the way of building and agriculture.

    “The beautiful is as useful as the useful…Perhaps more so” (Victor Hugo)

  6. Agriculture isn’t expanding in the UK.

    Building is around towns. When allowed.

    So total red herrings.

  7. I can see why they’re pushing for protection,,
    After all, the EcoLoonery requires carbon traps, which in turn requires very extensive woodland management where that old stuff doesn’t work and is in the way…

    You want birch, spruce, elm, poplar, possibly beech or willow that grow fast, and is useful for a “circular energy cycle”… So the Old Stuff has to go.

    Now…. Guess what the exact purpose of the medieval woods/commons was and what was grown there, with exactly which species….
    And why that Ancient Stuff mostly is where it is..

  8. Chester:

    Agriculture doesn’t need to “expand” in order to destroy ancient field boundaries or get rid of “inconvenient” trees.

    And unless building takes place on brownfield sites, there is a strong possibility that ancient trees will go. The land in the South of England is under huge pressure, around towns, villages, and on greenfield sites. If you are unaware of this, I can point you to a few choice examples.

  9. @Sam Vara: We seem to have a pretty good population of trees that have survived the industrial revolution and increase from 9m to 65m+ population. I’m not too worried.

  10. JK277

    Me neither, just concerned. But remember a lot of that 65m+ has happened in our lifetime, through immigration. And big old trees take rather longer than a human lifespan to grow…

  11. Saplings and mature trees don’t capture a lot of CO2. Mid size trees are best. To keep them mid sized and efficient as carbon sinks requires coppicing and pollarding, as in medieval times.
    Doing that efficiently would require a market for the staves and a lot of machinery spewing CO2 into the atmosphere operated by people paid more than medieval peasants.
    So not really a runner, actually.

  12. Just yesterday I went to a wooded nature reserve (looking for particular butterflies that I didn’t see) and was quite surprised to come across a mix of old trees, orchid glades and nodding donkeys of the fossil fuel variety. Turns out this was the site of Britain’s first onshore oilfield. If they hadn’t made a point of recording the fact (some preserved equipment, plaques and statues) you wouldn’t have known the place was once busy with UK and US oilmen drilling over 100 wells and producing millions of barrels of oil during WWII.

    Nature can come back, but it needs a sufficient baseline to come back from. We shouldn’t be too blasé about hosing it away.

  13. Knicker-wetting about trees is an old game. People used to persuade themselves that All the Trees were being cut down for (i) domestic fuel, or (ii) iron-making fuel, or (iii) naval ship-building. It was all rubbish. In Ireland people claimed All the Trees were cut down to make barrels for Guinness. Also tripe.

    Clearance of trees is almost always for (a) agriculture, or (b) building. There is an exception reported in this morning’s Telegraph: Peterborough Council wants to fell a big oak because it’s a danger to neighbouring houses. Seems a good reason to me.

  14. All the Trees were being cut down for (i) domestic fuel . . .

    I remember shocking an old chap (old enough to know better) at a city nature reserve in Nottingham. He’d bought in to the climate bollocks and I told him that if he gets his way and the energy system breaks down, the whole reserve would be stripped for fuel within weeks by the people in the surrounding estates. That’s not knicker-wetting; we know it happens from when cities are besieged.

  15. the study “suggests”. Not much of a study then. Perhaps the sort of conclusion you might reach after a long session in the pub

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