With the flooding in the news, articles have been circulating once more reminding us of the value of trees. While there are many reasons for the recent flooding, as well as for others in previous years, the lack of trees in our uplands is a significant factor, often forgotten among the talk of lowland flood protection schemes. Trees are significant in preventing both flooding and drought. Their roots take water deep down into the aquifers, preserving water in the soil for when it is needed in the summer. Taking the water down deep prevents it running across the surface and overloading our river systems. It is a win-win. All we need is trees.
Flooding on this scale reminds us that we can’t live as if we can control nature without consequences. We are created for an interdependence with nature which is in fact a joy as well as a responsibility. Significant research has shown an increase in human wellbeing when connected to nature. Yet so often we act as if humanity can stand alone and as if care for nature is an optional extra as a Christian.
A good starting place is to make a point of noticing what is around us in nature. Much of the rest follows as our thankfulness increases and so too our desire to live in a healthy relationship with God’s non-human creation. In the meantime, our prayers are with those affected by recent flooding as well as the policy makers who will be considering options to prevent future events.
By the Revd Cate Williams, Mission and Evangelism Officer