Tree planting

I am glad the government shares my enthusiasm for more trees. We need to keep the woodlands we still have left, and expand our forest cover. Trees enhance the landscape, help bind the soil, act as windbreaks and often improve the view. Properly tended they can also be an important source of raw material and income when harvested and replaced with saplings.

Locally our Councils are working to boost tree numbers. Nationally the government has committed to 11 million extra trees. It is making money available through both urban and rural tree funds. It is backing the Forestry Commission who have a big programme.

This work needs to be part of better planning. I am working with Wokingham Borough Council on the next local plan which I want to slow the rate of development after the substantial housebuilding of the current plan period. I want the Plan to make proper provision for green gaps between settlements, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, parks, woodlands and other amenity areas.

Many of us get a lift from our green environment. One of the best features of England is our fabled “green and pleasant land”. The mild temperate climate gives us green fields and leafy trees for much of the year which provides a good local environment close to nature. I am glad our local Councils are busy protecting and enhancing our green environment.

We also need to have a fair and controlled system of immigration. Our welcome to new people needs to be at a sustainable pace.


  1. Mark B
    November 15, 2019

    Good morning.

    I am glad the government shares my enthusiasm for more trees. We need to keep the woodlands we still have left . . .

    Yet it is happy for the USA to chop down its trees, turn them into wood pellets, ship them across the Atlantic, and burn them here, producing CO2 which we are told is bad.

    Mind boggles ???

    We also need to have a fair and controlled system of immigration. Our welcome to new people needs to be at a sustainable pace.

    Define what is ‘fair’ and what is ‘sustainable’ ?

    Reply Yes, I think imported wood burning is as strange way to proceed. We need new targets and controls as soon as we leave the EU on migration

    1. Mark B
      November 15, 2019

      Reply to reply.

      Many thanks 🙂

      The proposed Australian style points system may seem acceptable but, are we not comparing apples to oranges ?

      Australia is a large continent / country with an extremely low population density. It wants immigration but not MASS IMMIGRATION. What system would we use that would be beneficial to this country in the short, medium and long terms ?

      1. Hope
        November 15, 2019

        JR, You cannot have a govt policy to plant trees when it is currently on a massive house building programme because of its mass immigration policy! The two are incompatible. Land is ear marked 5 years in advance under your govt policy. Your govt in 2010, under Boles, changed the planning legislation. He wanted to build on national parks! Millions of immigrants will need housing, health, transport, education, health. Same for the allowed illegal immigration.

        You will recall Mayhab lost hundreds of thousands too illegal immigrants to her “system”. Rudd lost 56,000- admitted to the select committee and the next day told police chiefs requests for more money would fall on deaf ears! Where are these illegal immigrants working are they involved in crime? Johnson now wants us to believe he is keen to cut crime! Reid claimed the Home Office was not fit for purpose, when did it change? Why the Windrush scandal?

        Fishlake currently flooded with terrible consequences because houses were built on a flood plane! EU environment policy wants to return flood planes to natural habitat (Somerset 2014 emphasised by articles by C.Booker), we had that debate in 2014 when your govt was in office and made a host of promises that it has, once again, failed to deliver. Tory urban ghettos now being built around the country, not tree planting to help soak up the water.

    2. Stred
      November 15, 2019

      The late Prof Sir David MacKay worked out the figures for burning American trees and proved that it saved very little CO2. He told Sir Ed Davey, who for some reason had been put in charge of saving the planet, and he replied ‘Shit’. We carried on burning American trees because his beloved EU says that it produces zero carbon. This dunce is currently asking us to ignore the referendum and vote Democrat.

    3. Anonymous
      November 15, 2019

      What is fair and what is sustainable is what the people eligible to vote here want.

      I simply cannot bring myself to vote, yet again, for more broken Tory promises even though my candidate is an ERG member.

    4. Lifelogic
      November 15, 2019

      Mind boggles indeed. Economic and environmental lunacy.

      It seems to be being done just so that minister can claim that at midday in mid summer on a sunny but windy day for 10 mins all of our electricity came from “low carbon” sources!

  2. Lifelogic
    November 15, 2019

    I too like trees but not particularly endless forests of production conifers as are so common. Nor misguided tree preservation orders that can blight houses and gardens and keep them in the dark for no good reason. Costing a fortune in regular tree surgery too.

    You say “Our welcome to new people needs to be at a sustainable pace” – indeed and it needs to be selective.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 15, 2019

      Forest do not really help much with CO2 level. Yes they take CO2 in while growing but once the forest is fully established it grows & decays and is largely in net equilibrium. Only if the trees are chopped down and buried and new replacement ones grown (or the timber is used as building material) can it be a C02 sink.

      Not that Co2 is actually a real problem as Corbyn’s brighter brother and other sound scientists often explain. But “BBC think”, politics, emotion and the new religion usually win out in this debate.

      1. Bob
        November 15, 2019

        CO2 is not a problem, it’s just be cast as the Devil gas in the new religion.
        The idea that mankind can control climate by shifting its CO2 emissions from the developed to the developing world in patent nonsense, but we have few politicians willing to tell the truth, and the BBC is will not allow unbelievers a platform to challenge the doctrine.

        etc ed

        1. Lifelogic
          November 15, 2019

          Indeed. Not only that but the suggestions that the greens make – renewables, wind, wave, tidal, PV, walking, cycling, public transport, electric cars will not really make any significant difference to CO2 emissions and concentrations anyway.

          1. Hope
            November 15, 2019

            Johnson today intimating HS2 will go ahead at a cost of £80 billion! Goodness, stop telling us about Labour spending.

            Yesterday in Con Woman another article on projects demonstrating the disgraceful waste of our hard earned taxes on overseas aid to countries who do not need it or decide to spend their taxes on other uses. Why should the U.K. Taxpayer help these countries so they can divert their money to other priorities? Then we get told by the Tories to sell our homes to pay for care! This includes China and India who are still increasing coal fired power stations, our overseas aid not influencing their behaviour one jot! Utter stupidity by the Tory govt in wasting our taxes by the billions.

            Get rid of our taxes on a tick the box mentality to make sure on public sector accounts all money is spent! Some of the money could be used for tree planting in countries where deforestation should be stopped. Costa Rica govt now encouraging replacing forests/trees cut down.

  3. Lifelogic
    November 15, 2019

    ‘Australia must stop selling coal’: Branson calls for climate ‘revolution’ I read. Well what is coal but old biofuel? It can be burned quite cleanly nowadays too. Is this not the man who burns billions of tons of aviation fuel (into the upper atmosphere) by encouraging rich people to endlessly fly round the world on holidays? Perhaps we should leave all that aviation fuel in the ground and close Virgin Airlines down instead?

    So the Mayor of Venice (and lots of daft alarmists on the BBC) blame “Climate Change” for the Venice flooding, rather convenient for him I suppose given the endless corruption and delays over the proposed barrage.

    But Venice is sinking slightly into the mud and anyway the flooding was not as bad as it was in 1966 (which is before any significant atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, so what caused that one?). So nothing to do with C02 at all. Just sinking into the mud, a high spring tide, the wind strength & direction and lowish atmospheric pressure lifting the sea slightly too.

    Politics & the climate change religion verses reality & real science.

    1. Stred
      November 15, 2019

      Sea level has been rising at a foot per century for the last thousands years. What a stupid place to build a city, with buildings on tree trunk piles. Typical Italians.

      1. Mitchel
        November 15, 2019

        It was originally established at the time of the death throes of the Western Roman Empire by escapees from Rome and it’s environs trying to find somewhere (relatively)safe and defensible against the waves of eastern invaders,notably the Huns.As part of the Eastern Empire it became very successful commercially -increasingly at the expense of the imperial capital,Constantinople and,ultimately, achieved independent statehood -until Napoleon conquered it and handed it to the Habsburgs.It became part of an Italian polity in mid 19th century.

    2. Leaver
      November 15, 2019


      This is poor science. You are basing your conclusion on a single observation in 1966.

      You should look at events over time, not a single example. Five of the ten highest floods over the past 100 years have occurred in the last decade. It’s pretty obvious the flooding is a result of global warming, as are the Californian fires and the mess in Australia.

      1. Lifelogic
        November 15, 2019

        What about all the fires, floods and tragic events before CO2 concentrations increased significantly? The East Coast Floods of 1953 for example, that killed 2500 in the UK, Belgium and Holland was this global warming being anticipated in advance perhaps?

        If something like this happened again the “BBC thinkers” and greens would be in complete overdrive about the CO2 climate alarmist exaggerations. The idea of preventing floods by reducing atmospheric co2 is complete scientific and economic lunacy. Sensible flood protection schemes are needed (where they make economic sense that is) or houses designed for occasionally flooding without much damage.

        1. Leaver
          November 16, 2019

          The idea of preventing floods by reducing atmospheric co2 is complete scientific and economic lunacy.


          CO2 warms the planet, melting ice, and also leading to heat expansion of water. Both melting ice and the heat expansion of water lead to flooding. Doesn’t seem like lunacy at all.

          Unless you are going to argue that CO2 doesn’t heat up the planet. In which case you might want to move the Venus, which is full of the stuff, and very very hot (and a comparable distance to earth from the sun).

          1. Edward2
            November 16, 2019

            But the sea level rises over the last hundred years stated by the UN IPCC are not great enough to result in the specific areas of flooding seen in Doncaster Venice or the Somerset Levels for example.
            Therefore many other reasons are involved.

          2. Big John
            November 22, 2019

            > and a comparable distance to earth from the sun

            Rubbish, Venus is about 2/3 the distance of the earth to the sun.

            And a day on Venus lasts for 243 Earth days.

            So it would get very hot during a Venus day.

      2. Lifelogic
        November 15, 2019

        I am not basing it on “one observation” I merely give that as an example.

      3. Edward2
        November 15, 2019

        Venice has been sinking for centuries having been built on wooden piles in a lagoon.
        Sea levels have risen by an average of 5 to 8 inches globally in the last 120 years.
        The fires in California and Australia have been happening for centuries too.
        The problem recently is made worse due to green laws in these countries that make it difficult to cut down trees to create fire brake gaps nor have regular controlled burns.
        Just like flooding in the UK made much worse by the reluctance to regularly dredge rivers like the river Don.
        Nature should be allowed to take its course is their policy.
        And we can see the results of those policies.

      4. NickC
        November 15, 2019

        Leaver, Climate is a measure of a long term (100s or 1000s of years) trend. What you have just quoted over 10 years is weather, so cannot be proven to be related to global warming. Moreover, GW is not necessarily AGW, and certainly not CAGW.

        1. Leaver
          November 16, 2019

          I’m quite surprised by these responses.

          All of you are citing more individual events … except for Nick C, who appears to be suggesting we need to look at global warming over 1000 years. In other words we need to wait a millennium before reaching a decision.

          Also the fires in Australian and California have worsened, actually. So even that’s wrong.

          I have the sense these opinions are more about hating tree-hugging liberals rather than any examination of the facts. Bit disappointing actually.

          1. Edward2
            November 16, 2019

            I gave you reasons why the fires and floods have “worsened”.
            You believe it is only because of global warming.

            I don’t hate any “tree hugging liberals”

  4. Richard416
    November 15, 2019

    Trees are a pleasant addition to the environment as well as serving a useful ecological purpose. However I would like to see more evergreen trees instead of broad leaf types. Most councils seem to plant the broad leaf type, it sheds its leaves in Autumn so for half the year provides little ecological benefit, and requires considerable extra manpower to clear the leaves up otherwise they will block the drains and cause flooding and a slipping hazard. Evergreen trees are the answer.

    1. agricola
      November 15, 2019

      Evergreen trees where I live shed their pollen in spring giving cars and gardens a shade of green for about a month. Then throughout the year after any strong wind we get a harvest of pine needlesr. Where they cannot be cleared they are a serious fire hazard.

      On the plus side they feed a healthy red squirrel population, support myriad birds, and provide space for families of wild boar, a few snakes, foxes and rabbits.

      When planting trees you are limited by what will grow in the chosen area which in England means almost anything. If you are looking further north to the wild tracts of almost uninhabited Scotland then conifers are probably your best bet. Among conifers there is a wide choice.

    2. Chris Dark
      November 15, 2019

      Evergreens don’t necessarily have zero leaf-fall. Pine needles still drop off, to be replaced by new; large swathes of these tend to acidify the soil beneath them, which isn’t beneficial for the growth of other plants. Birds also prefer broadleaf to nest in. At that rate you may as well plant plastic trees if it’s the leaf-fall you don’t like.

  5. Henry Jailer
    November 15, 2019

    And yet you have voted in Parliament against measures designed to combat climate change and in favour of fracking. Your interest in environmental issues lasts about 5 weeks, the length of a General election campaign

    Reply I have been true to a positive green agenda as identified here

    1. Dominic
      November 15, 2019

      The only thing we need to combat is the fabrications and falsifications of climate change activists who have invented this particular issue as a cover for their embrace and promotion of authoritarian politics. It is false flag politics in a similar vein to the feminist contrivance that is the gender pay gap

    2. agricola
      November 15, 2019

      Climate change is a natural process, get used to it, it has been a feature of life on Earth for millions of years. Climate change worshippers should pray to the Sun, not our host.

      The only sensible action our government can take is to mitigate the effect. Build sea walls, dredge rivers, cease allowing building on flood plains, erect flood defences where rivers flow through populated places, clean frequently and increase the capacity of our drains.

      Many of the other actions the greens suggest will not affect climate one iota, but they could improve the health of the population. Pollution and plastic waste elimination could benefit us. If the greens think they can change climate they stand as much chance of doing it by dancing naked under the moon, but not in my parish please.

      1. Lifelogic
        November 15, 2019

        Indeed save all the money they are currently wasting on green lunacy and use a bit of it for some flood defence schemes where they are sensible.

    3. Fred H
      November 15, 2019

      some measures proposed against climate change are idiotic.

      1. Lifelogic
        November 15, 2019

        Nearly all of them.

    4. David in Kent
      November 15, 2019

      It is fracking in the US which has allowed the Americans to replace coal with natural gas and so reduce the production of CO2 as well as making them less beholden to the Saudi Arabians. We in Britain, meanwhile, with declining gas production from the North Sea will depend increasingly on Russia as well as Qatar.
      Sir JR is right to support fracking.

  6. Shirley
    November 15, 2019

    How many promises have been made to reduce immigration? How many promises have been broken? Trust is non existent while manifesto promises are made in order to get votes, but then immediately cast aside. We are losing arable land and everything else that is green in order to build housing and roads for our rapidly expanding population. Even green belt isn’t safe these days.

    Deporting illegals would be a good start, but I won’t hold my breath.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      November 15, 2019


      I agree. Our immigration policy should be to take ONLY people with the skills we need. Those who come in illegally should be sent back, and those who facilitate their entry should be jailed. We are seen as a very soft touch, around the world.

      I am very worried about Corbyns enthusiasm for ‘family reunification’. I suspect he is thinking of more votes for Labour.

    2. MB
      November 15, 2019

      The government should first ensure that the law is water tight by bringing in new laws, and then start deportations on an industrial scale. They should also start illegal immigrant arrests, also on an industrial scale.

  7. steve
    November 15, 2019

    Good morning JR.

    I share your sentiments. However I also think so-called tree surgeons should have their activities criminalised. They often fell trees for their commercial value, and quite often wood that is public property and therefore not theirs to steal.

    I would also like to see wood chip banned, it is plainly a waste of resource.

    It should also be illegal to sell logs above a certain price, to discourage needless felling.

    1. eeyore
      November 15, 2019

      Many overhead power lines would be down in a year were it not for tree surgeons. And wood chip comes from brash that would otherwise be bonfired.

      Trees fall, branches drop, woodland needs management. Nor do newly planted trees make a wood; it takes centuries for the full complex ecosystem to develop. Our real ancient woods are in decline because proper woodmanship is uneconomic.

      One example: nightingales used to be common: Keats heard them in Hampstead. They breed in coppice but few woods are coppiced now. Hence no nightingales. Meanwhile government cracks down on firewood use, one of the main markets for coppice timber.

      1. steve
        November 15, 2019


        “Many overhead power lines would be down in a year were it not for tree surgeons.”

        Most countryside and nearly all urban power lines are buried these days. In addition to work near live overhead power distribution requires electrical qualified personnel.

        “And wood chip comes from brash that would otherwise be bonfired.”

        Still a waste though, isn’t it. I have a chipper which only sees use once a year for what comes off the fruit trees, but I don’t waste it I burn it in the Rayburn. Every little helps as they say.

        “Our real ancient woods are in decline because proper woodmanship is uneconomic.”

        But even without human intervention woodland would develop naturally. I’d say the decline is due to foreign diseases and appeasement of developers.

        “Meanwhile government cracks down on firewood use”

        The government can kiss my proverbial. I heat and cook using coal and wood. Coal partly because it gives a lengthy refuelling cycle so the house is always warm, and partly to stick it to the greens. Wood I use is nearly all windfall or redundant pallets etc.

        If they and their meddling idiot green xxxx buddies don’t like it I have plenty of old engine oil and tyres.

  8. Lifelogic
    November 15, 2019

    Free fast fibre broadband for all and BT part nationalisation(theft of) is yesterday’s fake promise by Labour – what false promises will we get from them today? If the youth & public fall for these Steptoe promises they will fall for anything. Blatant con tricks from a man who will run out of money and give us Venezuela without the sunshine – and in no time at all.

    The money and investment is leaving the country already, if he wins it will become a flood – there will be very few rich left to tax.

  9. Lifelogic
    November 15, 2019

    Also Labour were promising to “eliminate” the gender pay gap yesterday.

    There is however no gender pay gap that is not fully explained by the work life balance choices the genders take, the different subject they study and different jobs and work hours they tend to choose. Statistically far fewer women with children choose to commute to work for a higher salary (higher before the commuting costs anyway).

    Women without children already earn slightly more than the average man statistically.

    So the only way to “eliminate” this pay gap would be to have very heavy handed active discrimination against men (often against these women’s husbands or partners) and perhaps force more women to study physics, computer science, engineering, construction etc. and work on oil rigs, building sites etc.

    Labour is therefore going into the election promising active, very heavy handed discrimination against working men. Do they think this will be popular?

    1. Anonymous
      November 15, 2019

      Most mothers don’t want it either. What is the point of making their husband poorer ? It only means they have to go back to work earlier.

  10. Dominic
    November 15, 2019

    I concur. Planting more trees will help defeat the promotion of Marxism. It will provide a reflective environment in which those considering voting for a rancid, malignant, duplicitous political party like Labour can reflect on the horror they would unleash if they chose to do so.

    Green is a calming colour while Red incites emotion. Taking important decisions when exposed to heightened emotion always leads to negative consequences. Leftist agitation is designed to suppress your critical faculties and dull your sense of reasoning. Watch out for the triggering from Labour using trigger terms

    Plant more trees. Embrace nature. Reject politicisation

  11. Wil Pretty
    November 15, 2019

    I have noticed an influx of migration from cooler parts of the UK to the South. This for both employment and retirement. Continual house building allowed this. As a result roads are clogged with cars and green areas have become housing estates or potential building land. There is less space to plant trees.

    1. James1
      November 15, 2019

      Trees are our fastest growing natural resource. They are more than that. They are beautiful.

    2. Everhopeful
      November 15, 2019

      Agree 100%
      Here it is literally pointless trying to go out.
      Never mind “ Love Your High Street” campaign.
      I wonder what the plan is?
      All sealed in our houses ..needing passes to travel?

    3. turboterrier
      November 15, 2019

      Wil Pretty

      That is the reason that our politicians accept that Scotland for all its rankings about needing to increase its population will always struggle to keep immigrants or as we were called white settlers.

      Should Scotland driven by the fanatical SNP ever get independence the first thing before any other negotiations is build a hard border properly policed , otherwise it will become the soft underbelly of the rest of the UK.. The real Scots know the exodus to down south is always busy especially the weather and higher tax structure.

  12. Simeon
    November 15, 2019

    Tree planting is a good thing – though the Tories have even managed to call that into question with the proposal of a huge forest in Dominic Cummings’ backyard.

    Sir John, any comment at all on the actions taken in recent days by your closest ally in achieving a clean and proper Brexit, Mr Farage? And indeed the alleged response (and non-response) of your party?

    I cannot understand why on earth Farage put his trust in BJ, whilst in the next breath said you can’t trust the Tories. And then he’s surprised when things turn out as they have. I do not believe, given all that has been said and done since his fateful announcement, that he’s been ‘got at’. So either he has been foolish in the extreme, or there is some cunning plan to expose the Tories further (but deny millions of people the chance to then vote appropriately, whilst at the same time undermine trust in his motives and judgement). What do you make of this? As someone who has said that Brexit is bigger than party interest, and as the one Tory not to at least sip BJ’s Koolaid, your opinion would seem to matter.

    1. Simeon
      November 15, 2019

      Thank you for posting my comments. I understand that you may not be entirely free to comment on what is obviously a very sensitive issue.

      Are we know fully into ‘hope for the best’ territory with Brexit? Any slither of a chance that Brexit might be done sensibly has seemingly all but disappeared.

    2. Denis Cooper
      November 15, 2019

      A relation reports that Theresa May has been canvassing in Caversham, part of the neighbouring Reading East constituency. Perhaps she feels more confident now she knows she will not face a challenge from the Brexit Party in Maidenhead …

      1. Simeon
        November 15, 2019

        True selflessness from one of our great public servants…

        And also credit to Nigel Farage for freeing Mrs May from the burdensome obligation of defending her record. It is truly inspirational to see Tories and para-Tories working hand in glove for the good of the country…

      2. Fred H
        November 16, 2019

        She would not have to ask ‘can I count on your vote?’

  13. agricola
    November 15, 2019

    Yes trees are a great asset, both aesthetic and practical.. they also provide food and shelter to our bird and animal life. The greatest potential for the forestry commission is probably in Scotland where great tracts are uninhabited and could provide work in areas where there are few options. Long term we could reduce our dependence on imported timber. Local opinions should be listened to but limit those of nimby tendency. Tree growth and life can be anything from 30 to 200 or more years. Climate could go hot and dry in that period so plan our forrests to avoid the current disasters in Australia and the USA.

    Immigration is as yesterdays submission. Welcome those we need with flexibility for permanent and seasonal work where there is no home grown supply. Be very dilligent through education to create self sufficiency.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      November 15, 2019

      Agricola. Where I lived in Scotland great swathes of forest were being cut down to be replaced by wind turbines. The turbines were much taller than the trees. In fact the trees almost looked like grass when see from an arial view. Sturgeon wasn’t talking about much planting but more concrete platforms for more wind turbines. Ugly and noisy, bad for wild life, water contaminating and not terribly efficient. Too many for the grid to cope with and thousands a month of subsidies.

      1. agricola
        November 15, 2019

        Sounds absolutely disgusting a real eyesore in an otherwise beautiful place. Should be investkgated, I suspect a few absentee landlords collecting subsidies.
        Hydro electric would be a more acceptable way to go until Rolls Royce have developed their atomic submarine power plants for civilian electricity generation.

  14. Dave Andrews
    November 15, 2019

    A controlled system of immigration would be good, given we have had a couple of decades of uncontrolled immigration. If fertile UK can’t produce enough food to feed its population, the population is too large.
    I also like trees, and I think they are a good choice for land no longer intended for farming. Unfortunately, where I live, land released from farming always gets a housing development.

  15. Everhopeful
    November 15, 2019

    Here avenues of beautiful horse chestnuts are felled IN THE NIGHT.
    Beautifully wooded roundabouts denuded also under the cover of darkness.
    Hedges flailed in the Spring. Ugly and not bird-friendly.
    If you grow trees in your garden neighbours become frantic.
    I blame Labour and its hedge law….and the compensation culture Labour nurtured.
    Carpeting every available inch with concrete is not tree-friendly and there is a suspicion that whatever nature IS preserved will be for the enjoyment of the very few (1%).

  16. Everhopeful
    November 15, 2019

    Sorry to post again!
    But such a fabulous article in newspaper.
    Tory plans to reinstate railway lines cut by Beeching !!!
    What a wonderful idea.

    1. 37/6
      November 15, 2019

      Until freight is returned to rail I’m afraid there is not much point. Passenger only railways (as most are) will always need subsidies.

      The railways were originally built for freight, passengers weren’t really a consideration in the economics of it all which is partly why it’s so expensive as a passenger only system.

      Many of the closed branch routes looped around and provided useful diversions during infrastructure maintenance so there wasn’t any need for ‘bus replaces rail’ either. With digital Power Signal Boxes they need not be as staff intensive as they used to be.

      1. a-tracy
        November 15, 2019

        If rail was a viable option for freight it would be used by private businesses trying to maximise profit. I wonder why the Royal Mail stopped using rail especially all the underground track and stations, perhaps these should be opened up to competitive tenders Amazon perhaps.

      2. Lifelogic
        November 15, 2019

        Freight rail in the UK is not much good in the small UK. This as you usually need a truck at each end anyway. A truck to B train to C truck to D with three vehicles plus endless loading and unloading.

        Might as well go the whole way by truck.

        Self drive trucks perhaps ones that come together in a convoy for the motorways bit and then divides again will perhaps come about in a few more years.

        1. a-tracy
          November 16, 2019

          South London to Crewe on a train is a viable 2 hours journey compared to five hours by road in the daytime is a benefit but it would probably mean getting to the loading station an hour before it leaves, waiting in a booking in system with delays, down tools for breaks, reliance on rail timetables which are often late for the end of the chain booking-in purposes, queuing and waiting at the receiving depot, things not coming off in order of the queue, traffic delays near the two trunking hubs, so it’s probably quicker by road without consolidating and risk of loss, damage and delay out of your hands.

    2. Richard416
      November 15, 2019

      Wonderful news, I hope we shall see Maldon re-connected to the railway with a possible link to Stansted Airport and Cambridge. It’s a very good idea. Much better than HS2 and far better value in the end.

    3. Fred H
      November 15, 2019

      Replacing Beeching closures. . . .small problem with that. Lots of routes the lines occupied have now been severed by roads, motorways, bridges, industrial developments, even homes, reservoirs. Preservation railways do a wonderful job in educating and recreation, BUT normally cannot extend or reconnect to the Mainline (known as the BIG railway). No Government money helps them exist, but lottery grants do ( which can be an excruciatingly difficult experience). Many only continue via the generosity of legacies.

    4. a-tracy
      November 15, 2019

      Yes great but free car parks are needed nearby. Yesterday I required a taxi near Nuneaton, eight taxi companies were called around 4pm none available three didn’t answer the phone, one called back at 8pm to ask if we still required a taxi! George Osborne actually was a catalyst for improvements in the North West after years and years of stagnation, Burnham will get the kudos for Osborne’s foresight in this one respect. Why people vote Labour decade after decade in the poorest school areas, the poorest public transport, the poorest street scenes etc. I’ll never understand – they need a kick up the butt to stop taking their voters for granted.

  17. a-tracy
    November 15, 2019

    When we had Conservatives in charge of the County council and a decent Labour-run Borough Council we had a good street-scene department for waste and some planting. Hazel Blears amalgamation of Councils really kiboshed our local area’s streets (but at least McDonalds now cleans up after its own mess creators now), we never get nice planting through the summer, shrubs and trees are allowed to get out of control and when they’re cut it looks as though we’ve had a woodland massacre with just sharp sticks left everywhere, grass is cut and just left all over the pavement and road which then seeds in the cracks in the pavements, curbs and roads and looks a proper mess.

    We get the ugly steel railings all along our main road, our shopping centre is still a mess a decade after we were told it would be sorted. A small fortune was spent on 20mph signs on cul-de-sacs you can’t get above 10 mph in anyway! Then in the local Council estate, they’ve all been turned around or taken! You couldn’t make it up. I’d take photos but there’s nothing beautiful nearby to take. We did get some money spent on the local park the other side of town but then someone’s idea of art is white pylons. I travel around I see the beautiful towns, they strictly control shop signs, they look after their local scenes, we even get ugly cheap metal barriers at our local water beauty spot and no walking circuit.

    We’re getting trees and fields replaced with new housing yet I don’t see where any local beauty spots are being created where the new estates are being built.

  18. Sydney Ashurst
    November 15, 2019

    The Seasons are a Natural event created by the Earth spinning with its axis inclined, in its yearly elliptical orbit around the Sun.
    Research by the University of Northumbria suggests the orbital pattern is changing to be more circular. The distance of the apogee is reducing therefore Winters are warmer. Warmer air masses allow more water vapour to be picked up over the oceans and turns to greater rainfall over land.
    Climate is the weather pattern we experience peculiar to where we live on this Earth. The United Kingdom has an Oceanic Climate.
    Environmental Groups are fully convinced, despite the fact, heat from the Sun makes life on this Planet survivable, anthropogenic carbon dioxide keeps the extra 1 degree C in.
    Despite all the efforts in Europe to dispense with fossil fuels, politicians and some scientists say the temperature will gallop away.
    In the circumstances why aren’t we pragmatists, accept nature and make better provision for the rainfall. Funny, we have water shortages in the South East of England and it gets more expensive.

  19. Gareth Warren
    November 15, 2019

    I would like a greener and pleasant land, more trees would help this.

    However we today invest over too short a time period, relying on high immigration and cheap temporary buildings. It would be good if we can use todays focus on green issues to encourage less immigration amd better quality building.

  20. Ian @Barkham
    November 15, 2019

    Good morning Sir John

    Like most I see the beauty in trees and recognize there purpose in redressing the damage we inflict on the environment. Its easy to understand for the most part the older tree the more productive it is in reducing CO2. So why do Councils consider it legitimate to cut down trees because they spoil ones view? How many saplings are needed to replace one mature tree?

    As you know the over development in Wokingham has removed more trees and green spaces than they have found ways to replace similar in kind. Wokingham Council has a bizarre take on environmental impact, if you build on a flood plain (which Wokingham council is permitting) while you maybe able to protect those new properties, that was never the point. The point of a flood plain is to dissipate excess water, remove that capacity and the water then has to impact on new areas, it doesn’t stop raining because it doesn’t suit the council. So who is now going to pick up the tab for the newly flooded areas? Oh, the people that live there of course. That’s not planning responsibility, that is reckless endangerment.

    Reply Yes I have various arguments with plannners and the EA over the years about the extent of building on low level land and what mitigating measures are taken. I have always proposed not only taking measures to deal with the extra surface water run off from such building but also to include an element of catch up or retro fit as we have flood prone areas today that need more protection.

    1. Fred H
      November 15, 2019

      reply to reply….Quite a long time ago during a public display and discussion on the Winnersh Hatch Farm, I spoke to somebody who I did not record name. Asked what would be done to protect the various house building sites I was told all that would be ok. Then when asked why the proposed school would not be built first I was told it would be further away and last. I asked why. Answer: Left until last it would be sited where the flood area was currently worst. What! I responded. ‘Ah.. well during winter kids are not usually allowed to play on their field, so not really a problem if it is sort of flooded.’ At this we decided to abandon it and go home.

      1. Ian @Barkham
        November 15, 2019

        The new buildings are protected at the expense of the existing properties. Sindlesham Mill never gets flooded! The park and ride car park has had to be abandoned!

        The water still arrives but its passage is now blocked. Logic the flooding for all will be worse.

        Apparently our local planning has no input as the developers are given carte blanche to do what ever they like by Central Government as long as there are houses.

        How soon will it be until the new Tesla electric charging site is under water? Before Christmas or in the New Year?

  21. MagicMoneyTrees
    November 15, 2019

    Mr Sadiq Kahn should be made the UK’s National Tree Planting Guru.

    He has an excellent record in this area.

    Less than 200,000 trees planted out of a promised 2 million?

    Still…mustn’t grumble…the money is obviously being diverted ,to the fight against knife crime in London.

    Oh! Hold on!

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      November 15, 2019

      Mmm, more like extinction rebellion

  22. DanielJames
    November 15, 2019

    The Victorians planted many Plane trees in London to help combat pollution from factories. they deteremined that Plane trees were better at it than others.It is easy to deduce from this that people have known for decades that certain plant life perform some tasks better than others. Surely we can do better in a more scientific age.
    Varying the type of trees planted will help wildlife, varying types of bushes planted provides a variety of food for them as well as shelter. Bushes alongside roads will help absorb the pollution and block the noise as well. Reed beds alongside motorways help deal with polluted run off.
    We should not be importing wood from thousands of miles away only to burn it, this is surely self defeating and hypocritical as we are being told not to use wood burning stoves.
    I just hope that we have an organisation that is up to the task as the Environment Agency has repeatedly shown itself to be woeful at anything and everything.

  23. David
    November 15, 2019

    A scattering of trees is good but comercial forests are not friendly to wildlife. Dense forests should be regarded as part of agriculture and seperate from that we should ensure nature has its place which would include trees.

  24. Ed M
    November 15, 2019

    Dear Sir John,

    I don’t know how easy it is to plant a tree in a private, urban garden, but the local council in London wanted to charge my friend £400 to plant a tree for him in his garden. Something like that. My friend said he didn’t mind paying £50 or a bit more. But £400. That’s robbery plus its a hindrance to people wanting to create beautiful and healthy green spaces in their garden which people outside it also benefit from in some way.

    1. The Prangwizard
      November 15, 2019

      Could Sir John tell us how many trees he has in his garden, and separately on any additional land he owns and if it his intention to plant more and to achieve what density. In the garden I mean trees not shrubs.

      Reply Yes I have a good number of trees and have planted half a dozen more recently.I also planted some new saplings at locations around the constituency when MP.

      1. Ed M
        November 15, 2019

        Lambeth Council, London, charging him £400 for tree in garden (Labour)

  25. MB
    November 15, 2019

    What happened to the forest ‘corridor’ that was suposed to be being planted, from Liverpool via Manchester and Leeds to Hull ?
    Just more hot air from Cameron I presume.

  26. BillM
    November 15, 2019

    Now this is a “Green” policy I like.
    It is the trees that capture the “dangerous” CO2 gases and breath life into the planet. Why the AGW disciples wanted to cut down forests to plant a bio fuel is baffling. Yet they wonder why the CO2 levels have risen because felled trees release tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
    Plant more trees and produce less people for a strong and stable planet.

  27. Sue Doughty
    November 15, 2019

    Councils have tended to plant monoculture, not slow growers and oddments. As a result native trees like rowan (sorbus), hazel, crab apple, elder and others are now endangered species. Please encourage diversity – the plants listed above are supposed to be in hedgerows according to the Acts of Enclosure because they provide food and other diet enhancing produce.

  28. Ian Pennell
    November 15, 2019

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    I certainly agree that planting more trees has environmental benefits. Trees take CO2 out of the atmosphere and do their bit to prevent global warming, light-coloured trees like birch and poplars are even better in this regard because they do reflect some heat from the Sun back to space. Trees also help stabilise the ground and protect against erosion and a bank of trees provide valuable shelter against the wind for gardens and farmland in exposed locations.

    However, it is not really a great policy to get voters out of bed on 12th December to eagerly vote “Conservative” – which is what you need to get that Majority Conservative Government to see Brexit through. How about selling off all remaining stakes in part-nationalised banks (about £25 billion worth) to give every man woman and child in Britain £400 for Christmas? It would be fiscally credible, very popular with the voters and it would be a powerful motive for those with big families to get an extra £2,000 or more to help with the Christmas shopping.

    Money talks, and unless the Conservatives wake up fast to use this fact (which Labour is adept at using to promise Free University, Free Wifi, More Benefits – and many voters are taken in because More Money is a prime motivator) they might not get that Majority. That is especially the case if the Conservatives allow their opponents to paint them as out -of -touch- by not responding quickly to South Yorkshire being under water, by making crass comments about Grenfell residents and not reacting as an emergency an unprecedented new Winter NHS Crisis starting to unfold.

    Come on, you NEED the votes of those affected by these major national matters: You must get Boris Johnson and the Conservative Leadership to get a grip. The Government should borrow just £10 billion to give £10,000 (or more, if need be) to everyone who comes forward still on a waiting list for vital surgery- so that they can pay for it privately- Then give £10,000 to every household in Yorkshire and Derbyshire affected by flooding and also give £5000 to every Grenfell survivor to prove that Conservatives do care. That might repair some of the Conservative Electoral Damage caused by Government ineptness!

    Do pass this advice on – because if the Conservatives dont get a Majority there will be No Brexit!

    All the best for your re-election as Conservative MP for Wokingham.

    Ian Pennell

    Reply I have written and will write again about higher real wages, tax cuts, wider ownership etc. My main theme is Prosperity not austerity, along with ownership for the many!

    1. Ian Pennell
      November 16, 2019

      Reply to Reply,

      Dear Sir John Redwood,

      I totally agree, Sir. I have read some of your posts about promoting growth through higher Public Spending, more investment in infrastructure and building more housing and through Tax Cuts. I wonder whether you have shared some of your excellent ideas with Boris Johnson and the Conservative leadership -which should (rightly) try to appeal to the masses by promising to move heaven and earth to make people better off. Money Talks -and the promise of it talks more loudly at Election time.

      By the way, the first Leadership Debates (on ITV) are aired this week. Is Boris Johnson prepared for questions about how he will fund his policies? Borrowing costs are low at present so “We will borrow an extra £30 billion per annum for the next five years” is not fiscally irresponsible at this time. It will not bankrupt Britain when this is just over 1% above national GDP and borrowing costs are virtually zero -and it may help Boris Johnson out of a hole.

      The Prime Minister should also prepare for questioning about Russian interference in politics, the response to floods in Yorkshire and Bungs offered to Brexit Party candidates – do persuade him to prepare some satisfactory answers to such questions in advance because we Brexit-supporters don’t want to see Jeremy Corbyn “Wipe the Floor” with “Our Only Hope” followed by a lefty member of the audience drenching “Our Only Hope” with a milkshake on Prime-Time Television!!

      To that end- IS HE PREPARED? It is incumbent upon you Sir and other senior Brexit-supporters to Prepare Boris Johnson for the Debates!

      Ian Pennell

  29. Graham Robinson
    November 15, 2019


    Is 11,000,000 trees that many, sounds like a lot but what is that as a percentage of the current population of trees? And how many trees does it take to offset the average CO2 generated by each of the 67,000,000 people living in the UK? It sounds like a good idea, but how good is it?
    Interestingly we are already at a tree density last enjoyed in the 14th century, before we started to cut down the forests to make ships and homes in volume. So that is not too bad!

    Good Luck on the 12th


  30. Julian Flood
    November 15, 2019

    Sir John,

    I have a post on Independence Daily outlining a political response to the climate crisis/catastrophe/hysteria. This is not a scientific or technical problem, it is well past that point. When senior government figures allow themselves to be photographed being lectured by a sixteen year old girl then besides changing the government figures the only possible response must be to reassure voters that we are preparing to address any problems which may occur. Just in case measures put in place but not yet deployed are cheaper than going all out to bankrupt the country.


  31. Brian Spratt
    November 15, 2019

    Regretably, tree planting schemes in the past have concetrated money and effort on planting trees – but little or no money and effort on maintaining them. This results in significant losses of newly planted trees; therefore a waste of money.
    There should also be a significant level of mature tree planting, Mature trees offer greater environmental benefits quicker than saplings. Additionally, any acceleration in tree planting will exhaust supplies from UK nurseries, leading to imports, some of which may be from countries with lax regimes on tree health; thus we could be importing diseases and other pests which harm the host tree and affect other trees here.

  32. Lindsay McDougall
    November 16, 2019

    We want land for tree planting, land for agriculture, land for solar energy panels and wind farms, land for HS2 and other infrastructure, land for more houses, schools and hospitals. How much land is available for all of these ‘good things’?

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