Dusk had settled upon the land. Above me, the sky was a narrow passageway of light, and on either side was a dense plantation of conifer trees. Between the trunks, twilight had already turned almost to black, and the inner regions of the wood were made invisible from the road. It was quiet, with only occasional birdsong.

I find these conifer plantations, which cover vast areas of the UK, to be haunted places: haunted by their emptiness, like a house stripped of all its furniture and character. These woods have been created with good intentions. We need timber, and I’m grateful for all the wooden ...


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