**Sun 29 Sep 13**
PLANTING THE FIRST NEW TREES IN BERE REGIS
It was truly one of the most memorable and different days of my life. We planted the first trees in my project to restore some ancient woodland, with the intention of creating a safe habitat for animals and people to live in harmony. Ambitious ? Yes, and it's a steep learning curve for me. And I'm sure I will make mistakes along the way. But I have great advisors, experienced woodland managers, and the participation and enthusiasm of the entire population of the Bere Regis area. It's all I dreamed of, for the last 10 years or so, and lot more besides. But I didn't realise it would spark off the imagination of kids and parents and grandparents alike.
I think we have a great chance of creating a whole new way of managing woodlands for our grandchildren to enjoy. A way based on compassion, respect for all life, and common sense. Tilhill, my woodland management people, are completely versed in the all the traditional ways of management - but they are are also open to re-examining every 'traditional' action in the light of what is now possible, and without the constraint of having to make it turn in a profit. We don't want it to be a 'commercial' success. The only aim is to create and protect. And learn all over again how to ENJOY the abundant life around us.
I don't doubt that the 'Dark Side' will find some way to ridicule and denigrate the project, and call me an amateur. Well, so be it. I have come to expect this now - because I'm a thorn in the side of those who are clinging to the Old Ways - in which animals are just objects to be used at will. But they will have a whole enlightened community here to answer to.
I hope this will inspire restoration of forest environments everywhere. It's certainly already a lot of fun !
I'll try to write up the planting day tomorrow, with some pictures … Can't wait to go again !
My sincere thanks to all the good folks of Bere Regis, Shitterton and Save-Me who made it great day.
It might not look that much for a day's toil, but … from little acorns … big futures can grow.
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