Singleton Fieldsmen

To me, there is something quintessentially British about a tree in the middle of a field. There are numerous examples of these all over the countryside. The ploughs go around them, as do the harvesters. Perhaps they serve as roosting places for the predators that hunt the vermin that feed on the crops. Or maybe they mark ancient boundaries, or places where two smaller fields were joined into one.

The British seem to me to be the only nation (apart from the French perhaps) to be able to put up with the inconvenience and the inefficiency, for what is largely an aesthetic benefit. I can’t imagine this happening in, say, Germany, or the USA (I’m more than likely wrong, though). Efficiency and ambitious drive would uproot those trees in the name of modernisation.

And yet, in England, they remain. I don’t really harbour the belief that it’s only sentimentality that keeps them there, but it fits in with my somewhat rose-tinted, idealised view of this country’s rural population.

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