AND A FEW OTHER THINGS...
We have some fine horse chestnuts lining the streets of our village and I fear for them because around half the species across Britain have been hit by an incurable and potentially fatal disease.
Kids - when you next pick up conkers - get your parents to help you plant some replacements. What would Britain be like without horse chestnuts? THE other day I saw some children collecting conkers from under a horse chestnut tree and it was one of those timeless sights which I hope will never be lost.
Yet it could be. Disease isn't the only enemy of our trees. There are the council officials for whom nature's wooden skyscrapers are a source of fear and who prefer them felled just in case.
They don't see majestic oaks, they see compensation-hungry lawyers standing underneath, waiting for a branch to fall on to the heads of their greedy clients.
WERE insurance companies to get their way, few urban areas would have any trees growing in the first place.
That's because you can't be too careful these days and planting a tree anywhere near our beloved boxes of bricks, breeze block and concrete isn't wise. Most insurance firms warn that large trees should be planted between 30 and 65 feet away from buildings. So if disease or the council don't get your chestnuts, watch out for clipboard man.
THE towering reactors at Trawsfynydd nuclear power station should be preserved as a listed building, say campaigners from the London-based Twentieth Century Society.
I agree, it's an excellent idea. The more ugly, featureless, depressing, bleak concrete monstrosities we preserve from the 20th century, the more chance future generations will have of persuading architects to design buildings fit for humans.
THE BBC's Autumnwatch programme with its live outside broadcasts showing, erm, not very much has been understandably lampooned by Harry Hill's TV Burp on ITV1.
But compared to most of the tat on telly (see left) it's fresh and different and champions a fascinating season. It also gives a peak-time airing to nature's problems, including the threat posed by the invading Asian Ladybird which has now spread as far as North Wales and for which we have human stupidity to thank for its introduction here.