From James Murray-White
I’m honored & humbled having had the opportunity to lead on this campaign to respond to what we saw in the media on these oak saplings being ‘surplus to requirements’, and rising to raise the funds to save some, get them in the ground, planted and cared for as ‘our radical act of love’.
Of course it’s horrific to hear of saplings being grown from local seed, and then to hear that they could be destroyed due to a contract not being fulfilled. Of course they should have been given away, as we heard many garden centres put stock out for folk to take at the start of the pandemic, rather than see all the living material rot, untended and unwatered. There are many whys and wherefores about how this situation came about – I’ve had some of it explained with various nuances by the heads of the nurseries involved, and yes, this Government has questions to answer about their planting promises and ability to deliver (but they have so much to answer on so many issues right now – leave the trees to us), but for now, we’ve raised the money we set out to, considered an achievable amount in the circumstances of the time – late march, a week or 2 into this continually unfolding human tragedy – and have the green light to order a large amount of saplings, and at an agreed rate with the nursery, including storage until November, and then delivery costs to various locations.
You’ll read about, and see photos and short video clips here on this site about how our journey with the saplings unfolds, and please sign up to stay involved and get invited to various planting sessions about these Isles. Thanks to each and every one who has donated and willed us on.
It feels both an honor and a sacred bond to hold every donation in hand and to be able to reach out across our network and talk the when and whereabouts of tree planting and after care.
We cannot guarantee that every sapling will survive – we have not seen them yet with our own eyes due to lockdown; but we hereby make a covenant with all who have dug deep and thrown any money in the pot that we will guide their onward journey to their planting place with love, and guide all who plant them to do so with due reverence for the oak as a living being, and to care for it onwards as such.