Kevin Myers: The essence of good land management is murder
It's a simple truth that no Green politicians are elected by rural constituencies. Why? Because country people there know that nothing is naturally natural. Everything in the countryside is managed, either through the brutal methods of nature, or by the hand and will of man.
The Irish countryside is an utterly man-made artefact. Our hedgerows were planted centuries ago, and they naturally replenish themselves. But our tree population does not.
The Irish countryside, as we now know it, was the creation of conscious policy: just over 200 years ago, Irish landowners were given grants to plant trees. Those trees -- especially the beech -- are now coming to the end of their natural lives. This means that major strategic policies must be implemented in the next decade. We must soon start planting millions of trees in order to prevent an arboreal calamity devastating our landscape.