"My love for trees began when I was young when we moved from London to the country. It wasn't just for hide and seek, cowboys and Indians, climbing and building dens, but also discovering birds' nest, insects, catkins, the seasons. But in spite of all this I was terrified to go in the orchard at night - I always felt there was someone there.
This love continued when I was an art student, and I found myself one day drawing a tree on Hampstead Heath. I became aware that I was looking at this tree as a thing, as if it was simply a stick of furniture; something was missing. So I did a research all about trees. I understood the mechanics and learnt about different tribes that revered trees - but I couldn't just adopt their belief. I felt trapped in the cul de sac of my limited understanding.
Then one day a friend told me he had met a man who told him that trees have intelligence, a spirit, which came out at night and went back into the roots by day. Wow! It was like throwing open a door and letting in the light, and my love for trees matured. I realized why I was so scared in the woods at night. And by walking slowly towards trees I could feel their majestic presence, timeless, each breath being a season.
Since then I have always found a tree to visit at lunch time: a horse chestnut on a traffic island; four cherry trees in a roundabout garden. They cause me to slow right down and find in myself the belief that I can succeed. Whatever the stress, whatever the problem, they never fail to help. Yes, I love trees, and I hope trees love me."