“I’m 75 years old and I can plant 100 trees in 45 minutes”. These were the words of a volunteer at the Woodlands Trust as he demonstrated to us how we’re meant to plant the trees. So, dig a hole, stick a tree in and fill up the hole; I’m sure I can do it quicker than that guy!
I grabbed a spade full of confidence and walked towards a marked a spot. I struck the ground with my spade and it barely sunk in by a few centimetres! “Mmm, I must have been given a bad spade.” Nevertheless, I kept going and after 10 minutes, my first tree ever was standing tall against the fierce winds of St Albans! It was tempting to just stand there and dream about what my little tree would become in 20 years’ time, providing shade to people and shelter to birds and squirrels,and making her daddy proud… but no, I need to press on if I’m to beat that guy’s record! So after convincing a brother to swap spades (not that it made a huge difference!) I was back in business.
Looking around me in the open field, I could see kids, women and elderly people all taking part in the activity and having a great time. After all, it’s not merely about how many trees you plant, it’s also an opportunity learn to give back to our community and nurture the sense of responsibility to care for our environment; this may well be part Man’s role as Allah’s successor on Earth.
As the humbling tree planting experience came to an end, a brother said “I heard one of the Woodland Trust’s guys saying that 25% of these trees are likely to die because of frost.” Let’s just hope my trees end up with a better survival rate; that sounds easier than planting 100 trees in 45 minutesas I have come to realise!