As ash dieback marches across the UK, Helen MacDonald writes beautifully and evocatively in the New York Times Magazine of the treed landscapes we have lost forever – the elm, the American chestnut and now the ash. There’s even a word now for our memories of that natural world we’ve lost – solastalgia.
It is sad beyond belief to think that soon there will no more ash groves as celebrated in the traditional ballad, sung in this very beautiful version by English soprano Laura Wright.
In Australia we have the growing threat of myrtle rust, which will probably cause extinctions among our iconic Myrtaceae plants, such as paperbarks and native guava, as profiled by Dr Brett Summerell. Added to that is the constant clearing of mostly native vegetation from our Sydney suburbs using the 10/50 clearing laws, in the pretence that it’s ‘fire hazard reduction’.