2019 may be the first year in British electoral history when leading politicians tried to gain popularity by promising to plant trees. One party pledged 60 million trees every year, which at pre-thinning densities means annual planting of 80 forests the size of our nearby Wychwood, or enough to cover an area the size of Oxfordshire in a decade.
Chinese officials would consider this planting rate piffling. For the last six years their country has been treeing an Oxfordshire every two weeks, although it must be said that the workforce includes sixty thousand soldiers and members of the police. The aim is to lower air pollution in industrial parts of north-eastern China, where levels produced are up to ten times greater than that in central London. Sadly, King Canute springs to mind.