Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Ash In Danger

Bile. The Ash In Danger. The Irish bile were sacred ash trees, found around old Raths and wells and from them the Fir Bile, "men of the tree," were named. The lives of kings and chieftains appear to have been connected to them; under their shadow they were blessed and inaugurated.
The Religion Of The Ancient Celts. J. A. MacCulloch.

REPS. Go out into the Irish countryside, either now or after Christmas and you will see hedges being cut.
They are being cut under health and safety laws, without need mostly, or under the misnamed government REPS Scheme. Hedge cutting is almost a mania now. The chosen tool is often the flail mover, easy to buy and maintain, which leaves mangled broken stumps in its wake. Flails are banned under REPS guidelines, but used anyway? I have long tried to discover how reducing our hedgerows to stumps; how removing berry and food supply, removing shade, shelter, nesting sites and habitat, removing seasonal beauty etc can be considered environmental protection but I have failed.  Teagasc; the governing body that oversees REPS don’t reply. The Department Of Agriculture And Forestry do not reply. The Department Of The Environment do not reply. Most of our environmental groups and movements do not reply etc, etc.
In fairness to them all, I do not think they could reply. The truth is that The REPS Scheme is simply a way of funneling money to farmers, under the guise of a green coat.

Five. Prof Brasier says that since 2011, at least five new problems have appeared in Britain, each one of them potentially catastrophic in terms of tree health. Among these is Chalara fraxinea, another is the Asian longhorn beetle, which can infect many different species, including sycamore, elm, horse chestnut, willow, poplar, birch and some fruit trees. These beetles may arrive in wooden pallets and packing crates.
Another problem is the Oak Processionary Moth, Thaumetpooea processionea recently discovered in London trees. Then there is Sudden Oak Death and The bacteria killing Chestnut Trees. Also something is killing the great Plane trees too, there have been mayor deaths of Plane trees in France etc, etc.

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