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Trees, where do I start. I think maybe with where I was brought up. The strong easterly and salty winds on the coast meant that trees struggled to survive or thrive. When my parents moved to the old farm, there were very few trees. The ones there had been established some years previously along side the old house, Grange Farm, in the paddock. Those trees were somewhat protected from the easterly winds by the house and the farm buildings and a natural gentle incline away from the cliff. The house we grew up in was built in 1969 using a grant from the government. At that time they were encouraging farmers to expand and produce more. Grants were available for new builds, both houses and buildings. Surrounding this new home were few trees. My parents over the years, particularly my mother, toiled away, mulching the heavy clay soil to create more favourable growing conditions for new trees. Some didn't survive, but a lot did. Once they established themselves, then the proximity of the others protected the growth of each tree. One of my favouite books ever, 'The Man Who Planted Trees' by Jean Giono, had a profound effect on me when I read, and also saw the beautifully animated film of the book by Raymond Briggs. Perhaps it was because in the determinatin and dedication of this one man, year after year planting trees, I recognised my parents. Decades later, the farm is surrounded by trees. Though my parents are no longer there, they gifted this place protection for those living there, including the wildlife. Where ever I go, I look at the trees.

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