The countryside of rural England is a magical place, full of ancient woodlands and forests that are home to gentle creatures and wildlife such as badgers, foxes and rabbits. Indeed, the rolling hills and lush green lands of England are known and appreciated all over the world, having played the muse or backdrop in books, poems and films for hundreds of years
The Cubbington pear tree has stood tall and proud on a hillside just outside the town of Leamington Spa for over 250 years. As one of Britain’s oldest and largest wild pear trees, it is well-known in the UK, having been voted as England’s Tree of the Year just five years ago. I guess it is an enduring symbol of the magic of the English countryside and how important woodland is to the people of the United Kingdom.
Which is why the news that such an ancient wild pear tree has been chopped down in the name of progress is so devastating.
You see, large swathes of the wild of rural England are currently being destroyed at the hands of HS2, the company behind the construction of the high-speed rail line that will run like a jagged scar through the heart of rural England. Ancient woodland is under attack at the hands of men and machines. The habitat of wild animals is being destroyed in the name of progress.
Campaigners against the rail line fought in vain to save the Cubbington pear tree, the second largest of its kind, despite indications from the government that a review would be carried out. According to the Woodland Trust, It is believed that HS2 bosses used a loophole to get the work underway. As tree protestors watched on in tears, workmen, using diggers and saws, took just 90 minutes to hack the tree down, destroying 250 years of heritage in the process.
While many may say it is just another tree, the desecration and destruction of the Cubbington pear tree is a symbol of just how little respect humanity has for the heritage of our natural world and habitat of wild animals. How nature pays the price for our need for progress, time and time again.
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(c) Samantha Wilson 2020. All Rights Reserved.