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Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - New Trees, will Miss North West Charity Eleanor Farr come help plant them?

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 10 October 2021

Unlike Eleanor I do not want 50p from you to help plant a tree.  Nor do I want to cover the whole of Wales and much of England with trees in the misguided belief that this will save the planet. Instead I just buy my own trees with my own money to make this place where I live a better place. Here are the latest two which will soon be joining the 22 tree new orchard I have created on the upper field above the barns.

In the “good old days,” which some in this village still celebrate, that land hosted a small asbestos shed, a glass strewn base of an old greenhouse, a rusting ckicken shed, stacks of barbed wire and nettles and ferns up to 7 foot tall. Ah… for the good old days before those fecking English newcomers moved in…

The bloke dropping off the trees from the local garden centre said, “ah yes that would be Liz Penke’s old place isn’t it?”, referring to the previous owners, the asbestos buriers. Despite having made a number of deliveries here he still has a nostalgia for those good old days. We have now been here for two and a half years. I wonder how long it will be and how many thousands of pounds of my cash he will trouser before he considers who now lives here and how offensive might be his comment made every time I stick cash in his bloody bank account.

The trees are crab apples which are great for pollinating the new apple trees I have planted up in the higher orchard. The existing crab apples yielded 1.2kg of fruit this year which made two pots of jelly so before I plant these two fine trees I shall harvest them and make another two pots.  

I do have bigger plans for trees here at the hovel – an also in Greece where I shall be planting another 150 olive trees to add to the existing 250 one of these days.  Here in Wales, there is grant funding availalble for planting and maintaining trees on the lower fields but I will not be taking it. Firstly it would require pretty extensive planting which would encroach on the areas which are wetlands for much of the year. They offer a unique home to frogs, toads and grass snakes and I am loathe to upset that ecosystem as I am a snake hugger as well as a tree hugger.

And secondly I just think taking Government handouts when you do not need them is demeaning. But I have plans which will be revaled over the next two years and will also see the demolition of one last tiny remaining asbestos shed here at the hovel  which is currently surrounded by eight foot weeds and various nasties just dumped on the land and forgotten back in the “good old days”. All of that will be cleared for the new trees. Fecking newcomers.



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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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