I’m reading Mark Cocker’s Our Place – Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late? A sharp focus for his criticism of the way we mistreat our wildlife and countryside is the creation of vast areas of coniferous forest by the Forestry Commission and private companies, usually with generous public subsidies. The planting of Corsican pine, begun in 1859, to create the Holkham Meals on the north Norfolk coast is implicitly exempted from his criticism, indeed these unique woods are the subject of nostalgic reminiscence. In his discussion of forestry practice he stresses that deciduous trees regrow when cut down – hence the ancient practice of pollarding and coppicing – while conifers do not. I’ve often noticed this and wondered why it is so.
Photo: Holkham Meals, Wells-next-the Sea, Norfolk, May 2018