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Major Oak, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, EnglandThere is a tree in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, which is said to be between 800 and 1,000 years old.  The Major Oak of Sherwood Forest, reputedly hid Robin Hood from the Sherriff of Nottingham.  It has a girth of 10 metres (33 feet) and a spread of 28 metres (92 feet).  Can you imagine hiding in the hollow trunk, your heart beating so loud that the Sherriff and his men were bound to hear it? What stories that tree could tell.  There are nearly 1,000 ancient trees in Sherwood Forest, all of which have played their part in British history.

Mum and Dad went to see that tree last month.  (See the picture) Mum said she stood there looking at it, trying to imagine all the things that it has seen over the hundreds of years it has been alive.  It was a magnificent tree, she said. Powerful, and awesome, with an overwhelming presence.

The Apple tree in Sir Isaac Newton's garden, Grantham, Lincolnshire, EnglandMum and Dad also went to see the apple tree in Sir Isaac Newton’s garden in Grantham, Lincolnshire. It is 400 years old and the simple act of an apple falling stirred the young Newton to work out the law of gravity.  He also invented the cat flap, a little-known fact. It had less of an impact than the Major Oak, Mum said, but it was still amazing to look at something that was so old.  (Gibbs and I look at Mum everyday – we’re amazed

There’s a place in Kent, (which is the county where we live in the UK) called ‘Sevenoaks’ which took its name from the seven large oaks that were planted in 1902 (a year after our house was built) to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII.  They were planted on the north side of The Vine cricket club, but on the night of 15th/16th October 1987, when a terrible storm ravaged the south-eastern corner of the UK, six of the seven oaks were yanked out of the ground as if they were saplings.  That night, a total 15 million trees were torn up by their roots, for ever changing the face of the countryside.  Wild animals that lived in the trees were homeless and ran around looking for safety, scurrying here and there, and back again.  It was a scene of total devastation and destruction.

In one night, life changed forever for thousands of people.  And the countryside was irrevocably altered.  Trees that had stood for hundreds of years, marking boundaries, no longer stood proud.

The house I live in with Gibbs and Mum was built in 1901, meaning it is 116 years old.  From when it was first built, a sturdy, late Victorian two up, two down, dwelling, it had a kitchen and bathroom added sometime in the 1950s and electricity replaced the gas lamps that would have been the only means of lighting each room. 

Our house is in a terrace.  Kent was once called the ‘Garden of England’ because it had orchards growing all over it.  Row upon row of terraced houses sprang up to accommodate the workers needed to pick the crops which grew in abundance.

In that great storm, (which Gibbs and I were not around to witness), when Mum looked out of the window the next morning, she was horrified by what she saw.  Chimney pots had been blown off the roofs and lay in the road.  Smaller shrubs from front gardens lay on the tops of cars, and rubbish and just ‘stuff’ was everywhere.  It looked a scene of utter carnage.

The clean-up operation took many months and over the years since then, 30 in fact, many of the trees have been replaced, but there is one thing that cannot be replaced.  That is the history.  Those trees, especially the older ones, were around during the first and second world wars and the wars which preceded them; when kings and queens were crowned; when Man allegedly walked on the moon; and all the other huge steps in history that Man has made.  You can’t replace history.  Memories may fade, and even get a little confused, but historical facts are set in stone.

Respect the nature around you.  Go hug a tree and tell it you’re grateful for all the good it does. Did you know, that with all the deforestation going on in the world, and the fact that more people pave over their front gardens to park their cars, that there is more flooding? Don’t believe me? Check it out.  Trees help to soak up excessive rainfall but with fewer trees haven’t you noticed there are more incidents now of flooding, worldwide? Certainly, in the UK we’re seeing more flooding now than Mum ever remembers – and she’s nearly as ancient as Robin Hood’s tree! Rainfall has to go somewhere.  If your front garden has been sacrificed to park your car, then where will that water go to?

I don’t mean to be a doom-mongerer, but the world is changing and it’s the humans that can put it right again.  We cats can advise you to the best of our ability, but it’s you that needs to listen.  Take time to smell the roses, while you can, and respect those wonderful pillars of strength found in some gardens, and the countryside – trees.  Beside, cats like climbing trees!

Till the next time, love Casey xxx

 

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)