Why are we a nation of tree-huggers?
3 February 2011Last updated at 15:44 By Jon Kelly BBC News Magazine Plans to transfer ownership of many public forests in England have provoked a huge row. But why are we so protective of our woodlands? It's about the rustling of the leaves and the crunch of twigs underfoot. It's the sensation of the rough bark on your hands and the light dappling into a clearing. Above all, it's a place where nature takes priority over humans. For the vast majority of us, living in towns and cities, visiting a forest is the easiest way to escape our mechanised, wipe-clean, ring-roaded civilisation and properly get back to nature. As the government is finding out, a forest unleashes something deeply primordial in otherwise domesticated, suburban Britons. Plans to radically change the ownership of some of England's forests have provoked a furious backlash. Indeed, it is a response that tells us much about a country in which 90% of the population live in urban areas. Continue reading the main story
• Eco Issues