Today I met a man for whom short-term is a decade, medium a lifetime, and long the life of an oak. His job to plan what trees to plant in the Forest (or not, as the case may be, as here, which has been cleared to make way for heathland). Conifers stood on this patch for some 40 years; the hollyhocks will be around 2-3 years before they are succeeded by other species; the nightjars, hopefully, for many generations to come. Beyond and beneath this forest hubbub lies the ridge of acidic sandstone (towards the top of the picture) on which it all depends. As uncertainties increase, disease or climate change, take your pick, responding more specifically to the soil and its underlying geology as a way of increasing diversity, hedging your bets, has meant the chance to plant some of this species here, some of that there – “painting with finer brushstrokes”. However much I love this long view, the cabinet needs to be complete soon, so I will turn to the short term from now on. Thanks Peter for taking the time to walk me around your patch.