I USED to regard stories of aliens being here and taking an active role in the running of the planet as rubbish – but I may have been wrong.

Obviously, whoever organised the planting along the A14 and the resultant loss of more than 75 per cent of the trees planted could not be of this planet. No thought of ongoing maintenance? No thought of acceptable levels of loss? No thought of cost? But not only is the A14 an example of this, the A22 and the A21 both show the same disregard for how trees survive and grow on this planet. I frequently travel these routes and the A1 past the Space Centre. Anybody in the Highways Agency beamed off into outer space? I’m aware of no launches.

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A recent article expressed the opinion that more trees would grow if sheep were removed from the countryside, blaming them for grazing seedlings to extinction.

Obviously no thought of how ‘youse’ have fed the nation and created turf rich with wild flowers. Without sheep you would not have many of the moths and butterflies of the grazed meadow. Obviously the author had no experience of being out of work and the land bereft of sheep during Foot and Mouth. If you don’t want sheep to eat your trees, fence or tube them (the trees). It’s called land and animal management. Trees would grow if sheep were beamed off into space and the South Downs could revert to impenetrable forest and we could knap flints for tools.

A whole avenue of trees felled in the South West (Plymouth) to pave the way for an improved city centre. A whole orchard to be felled in the East (Cambridge), to allow a new bus route to be built to reduce carbon emission. Forget the carbon emissions needed to fell, clear, build a new road and the loss of habitat for insects and birds. No more carbon sequestration in the South and East.

Forestry Journal: The felling of Plymouth's city centre trees has not gone down well The felling of Plymouth's city centre trees has not gone down well (Image: Supplied)

Now my particular favourite, the addition of more cloven-hoofed animals to help bison with ‘climate change and conservation’ (the words of a particular wildlife organisation).

Generation of methane by animals is a major factor in global warming, yet the destruction of trees by these animals is sited as beneficial to climate change. It’s not!

Yes, it broadens the habitat and the range of plants. But the loss of leaf cover and an increase in methane does not reduce CO2, it increases it.

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Brighton City Council has banned the use of chemical weed-killers and is seeking volunteers to weed the streets. I am able to buy chemicals in garden centres in Brighton and apply it if the private customer approves its use (though I try to avoid chemicals where possible and actually use a vinegar mix – what’s a seaside visit without fish, chips, salt and vinegar?). If you are going to ban something, ban it – don’t leave the barn door open.

What planet do these people come from? Certainly not the planet of Common Sense.

Possibly the planet of Artificial Intelligence. Yes, the aliens are here.

Martin Charlton