Our columnist Eric Brown looks at a different type of wild thing this time as he discusses how amazing trees are.

We climb them, carve names on them, hide behind them, shelter beneath them and eat their fruit and nuts.

Trees protect us from harmful UV rays and soak up poisonous chemicals from vehicle exhaust fumes and industrial plants which we would otherwise breathe in. They also provide homes and food for hundreds of insects and many birds. So I always feel despondent when I see a fresh tree stump.

Recently I discovered a mighty acacia tree had been reduced from a 100-foot giant to a two-foot stump near my Sidcup home.

A dozen of these trees formed a majestic avenue but now there was a conspicuous and ugly gap. No more would squirrels romp, blackbirds sing and pigeons perch while goldcrests and coal tits foraged for food among upper branches. Once a couple of rare spotted flycatchers fluttered out from those branches to seize passing insects with snapping bills.

Why had the tree disappeared? Asking around locally the answer I got was: “They thought it might fall down.” No one knew who 'they' are. Why are 'they' targeting lifesaving trees with their chainsaw massacre?

The missing tree seemed perfectly anchored by its roots, appeared in good health and judging by its height and girth had stood maybe 70 years. If the only criteria for removing large objects is that they might fall down, why don’t we take chainsaws to telegraph poles, street lamp standards, flag poles and No Parking signs? All of them 'might' fall down.

Are 'they' so short-sighted they cannot see we take risks whenever leaving home? We will be taking even more by breathing in polluted air unfiltered by missing trees.

Sheffield’s Labour council approved felling of 17,000 street trees for road improvements while 8,000 trees were chopped down over three years on Newcastle streets. In Asia, mass felling of rainforests continues.

Even the Queen has approved plans to cut down a dozen mighty oaks in Windsor Great Park to assist reconstruction of an historic Anglo-Saxon burial ship.

Beware the chainsaw chorus coming to a street near you. Trees must be treasured not victimised.