Cutting down a 43 foot spruce tree for Parliament Square at Christmas

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Spruce tree destined for Parliament Square at Christmas.

NEWS AND VIEWS: I’m going to be the only one who thinks like this. I don’t like to see a 30 year old, 43-foot tall Sitka spruce tree cut down in the Kielder Forest, Northumberland, to take up the traditional position at Parliament Square, Westminster this Christmas.

Spruce tree destined for Parliament Square at Christmas.

Spruce tree destined for Parliament Square at Christmas. Photo: AP (believed).

It just looks wrong to me. Why should a beautiful tree like this be cut down, decorated with lights to please people? I think trees have rights. I know that will sound totally bonkers to a lot of people. But we should listen to the trees. We should listen to nature. People are becoming more sensitive towards the sentience of animals and therefore animal welfare is improving.

However, people remain distanced from nature. And trees represent nature. They are the home for wildlife in forests and woodland. You cut down a tree and you harm nature slightly. You harm wildlife slightly.

And it is ironic that there are great plans afoot in the UK government to plant billions of trees with an army of volunteers and new employees. All in the interests of protecting the climate. And yet here we are, for the entertainment of people, chopping down a beautiful tree, no doubt specially selected for its attractive appearance.

And what about the cost? At a time when the country is burdened with huge amounts of national debt, equivalent to the nation’s GDP, we are spending many thousands of pounds to decorate Parliament. I would rather something far more modest and that we leave trees alone. Surely we can create an artificial decoration of some sort which celebrates Christmas without using nature in this way?

I know that people want a bit of Christmas this year because of the dire state of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. We need some levity and fun. But let’s not do it at the expense of nature. And let’s be consistent on our attitude towards the landscape. We should all be in one direction: protection, nurturing and admiration of nature around us.