“We are tree-herds, we old Ents. Few enough of us are left now. Sheep get like shepherd, and shepherds like sheep, it is said; but slowly, and neither have long in the world. It is quicker and closer with trees and Ents, and they walk down the ages together.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
When I first started farming I planted trees for my own sake, for the aesthetic of copses to break up the grassland expanses, and for the pleasure of hearing wind in the boughs. Then, as I learned more about how ecosystems work, and the pivotal role of diversity in creating resilience, I planted trees for the sake of the land.