LOOKING AHEAD, BUT…

…WITH MANY A BACKWARDS GLANCE

Note to self: Plan to create some exciting stories for 2019 by researching the past.

Inspiration number one: Trees

One hundred years ago, on 1st September 1919, the Forestry Act was passed in the UK. The Forestry Commission was created, recognising the importance of forestry in England Scotland Wales and Ireland. The first Commission trees were planted on 8 December 1919 at Eggesford Forest, in the Taw Valley, Devon. An important first step, because numbers of trees had been declining since the middle ages. During the first world war, stocks reached the all-time low of covering 5% of the land area. The UK was on the brink of complete deforestation.

Thanks to the Forestry Commission’s work and inspiration, numbers of trees have steadily increased, and now stand at 13% of the land area.

Trees offer all sorts of possibilities for stories – Charles II hiding in an oak tree to escape the Roundheads (1651); fake trees used as observation posts in World War One (can this be true?); Johnny Appleseed, the legendary folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in 1800’s America (I definitely want him to be true).

The imagination will fly beyond boundaries. Let’s think…

A cherry tree with pink spring blossom

Self-sown sycamores, and ragged hawthorn trees

Conkers on the ground under leafy horse chestnut boughs

Giant sequoias

Coconut palms.

Second note to self: Create a TREES page in writer’s notebook.

Throughout Autumn add ideas. Let them simmer.

On a cold winter’s day, open notebook, choose a subject and draft a story.

Sounds good to me.

Useful websites for research:

https://www.forestry.gov.uk/aboutus

http://www.confor.org.uk/resources/events/100years/

Frog: (Shakily)

Hasn’t anyone noticed? I am not a tree frog!

Besides, in my experience, ponds can be extremely inspirational.

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