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Inter-faith Tree Planting

posted 7 Feb 2017, 05:20 by Martyn Goss   [ updated 27 Nov 2017, 02:45 by Websites Ahoy ]
During the day of 5th February around twenty of us gathered from different faith traditions to plant 250 young trees in Ludwell Valley Park in Exeter. Young Moslems joined with Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others in this shared symbolic action to demonstrate unity with one another and with the Earth.

Many of us had not planted trees before and what was felt to be a daunting prospect turned into a delightful experience. We dug in our own plants – all native species such as hollies, oaks, alder buckthorn, hazel and hawthorn – and also shared in planting a maple together.

The intense planting should allow for some losses but will hopefully result in a small area of woodland that will enhance the biodiversity of the park, as well as providing shade, shelter and sustenance for the future.

As one participant said, “there is something very healthy about being in direct contact with nature through the soil and the shared activity of planting.”

Exeter City Council ranger Chris Moulton guided us in our exercise and we are most grateful to him and the support he gave us – as well as the spades and saplings!

The day was interspersed with periods of silence, reflection and diverse prayers, and concluded with an inspiring reading of the story of ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ by Jean Giono.

Devon Earth and Faith Network (DEFAN) organises regular events sponsored by the Devon Faith and Belief Forum (DFBF) and Devon Churches Green Action. The next activity is likely to be a Dartmoor Pilgrimage in the Spring or Summer. For details contact (01392-294940)

Dear God,
We pray for balance and exchange.
Balance us like trees.
As the roots of a tree shall equal its branches
so must the inner life be equal to the outer life.
And as the leaves shall nourish the roots
so shall the roots give nourishment to the leaves.
Without equality and exchange of nourishment
there can be no growth and no love.

Michael Leunig