Today the Trees for Wellbeing team have been celebrating trees by planting a few more beauties within the staff wellbeing garden we’ve been developing. We’re also be planting some neighbouring plants to support tree health and provide a herb, food, and bee friendly environment, bringing true colour and life to the garden.
To give a bit more depth with regards to our deep love of trees, here’s an ode to trees, by Polly Williams, Trees for Wellbeing Volunteer.
Everyone loves trees
We need them too: they have been key to our survival as a species for as long as we’ve been on this planet, giving us food, shelter, medicine, and oxygen.
The UK’s trees and woodlands provide significant health and wellbeing benefits, as well as lowering the risk of flooding, reducing the build-up of urban heat and improving air quality. However – and surprisingly – woodland cover in Britain has fallen to just 13% which is the lowest in Europe, and our nation’s forests and trees are facing threats on numerous fronts, from development pressures to climate change.
The Woodland Trust are doing something about this. In November 2017 they launch a Charter for Trees, Woods and People which is the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest, a part of the Magna Carta which guaranteed community access and use of the Royal Forests to graze livestock, forage for food and collect firewood. www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/get-involved/tree-charter/
Let’s celebrate trees!
Tree Dressing, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
Trees have long been celebrated for their spiritual significance all over the world. We are all familiar with the Christmas tree which comes from a pre-Christian tradition, a symbol of life and renewal brought into the home at the darkest part of the year. Tree dressing is a universal and timeless practice. Celts would tie cloth dipped in water from a holy well to a ‘clootie tree’ which is similar to the practice in Japan of decorating trees with strips of white paper, or tanzaku, bearing wishes and poems. There is a Buddhist tradition of tying ribbons around the trunk of the Bodhi tree in homage to Buddha, and in the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan coloured strings are tied onto trees and plants to call upon the power of nature to protect loved ones. The 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar—is the day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees. This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.
My year of trees
I love trees! I’m often to be found walking in the woods and I take a lot of photographs of trees. To celebrate my own personal year of trees, I’ve included some pictures here that were taken throughout the last year.
First line (left to right): Winter Woodland Walk, Cragg Vale; Birch Trees, London; Woodland, Hardcastle Crags
Second line (left to right): Fallen Tree, Hardcastle Crags; Plum Tree, Chelsea Physic Garden
Third line (clockwise from left): New Leaves, Holme Street, Hebden Bridge; Cow and Tree Cragg Vale; Crab Apple Blossom on the Marina at Night, Hebden Bridge
Featured Image (with blog title): Woodland path, Cragg Vale