Suma Tree Planting Expedition 2011
This year our stout-hearted tree planting crew – whose banner reads “Putting the mental back in environmental” – assembled at Jack Bridge. This made a change from recent years in that it was on the margins of agricultural land rather than moorland and there was no horizontal rain. What little rain fell was light and fell vertically, causing minimal discomfort.
Jack Bridge derives its name from a bridge (no kidding), rather than from its rocky ground unfit for agriculture or a philanthropic mill owner. There are a lot of bridges in this part of Yorkshire because there’s a lot of water that you have to cross to get from one part to another. Quite what the significance of the ‘Jack’ might be, I’m not sure but it’s pleasing to speculate that it harks back to a time when this part of Britain was Danish speaking and vegetarianism was strictly for the birds (kestrels and peregrines excepted). Well, at least to when vegetarianism was an aspiration of some distant future socio-economic paradigm.
By now most of you are probably familiar with the mechanics of tree planting, from screefing off the surface, boring into the soil, sticking in the sapling and supporting it with a deer-proof tube and cane before pegging out a mulch pack to keep things moist. As usual, our partners in reforestation, Treesponsibility, found the site and sorted out the best species to work with – in this location it was willow and ash. They also brought along their rocket stove, an ingenious device that generates sufficient heat to keep a kettle simmering all day long and consumes about two sticks in the process. Every home should have one, as most yurts do, I’m told.
When we’d finally planted enough trees to be visible from a satellite in low-Earth orbit, we wandered off home in the twilight via the local pub. To minimise our environmental impact we restricted ourselves to the consumption of locally brewed refreshments. The quantity we consumed was merely a reflection of our responsibility to the local economy. Whether Neil made the right impression with his ad hoc plans for making your own entertainment with a rocket stove and two deer-proof tubes, only the locals can testify.
Every year Suma fund the planting of enough trees to offset the emissions of our distribution- last year this amounted to 5,400 trees, which we helped to plant on an annual tree planting outing in March. To find out more about Treesponsibility, the not-for-profit tree planting and climate awareness group who manage these activities, visit their website at www.treesponsibility.com