Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In praise of trees

Long ago in the last century, your humble correspondent briefly worked in a Parks Department of a London Borough. Fortunately, I was not asked to plant or tend anything. There were qualified people to undertake such tasks. While I was there I learned to admire these dedicated people and marvel at what they put up with from the public; more politely than I might have been!

A regular subject of complaint from local people was street trees.

The trees were variously alleged to be 'dangerous'; causing mischief with foundations; making a mess. The more subtle complainant optimistically opined that they were dead (this last in winter ...) Most of these complaints were gently batted away, or sometimes a manager was sent round to calm the troubled minds at the other end of the telephone.

In all my time in this city  I have never seen a better autumn display of turning foliage on the streets. It underlines a fact: While planners have knocked the city about those responsible for managing our parks and gardens and civic spaces have done a superb job. Many a faceless piece of 'urban renewal' is now slightly more bearable for having trees with which to soften it's bleakness.


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