"Hence it is, that we every Day find Men in Conversation
contending warmly on some Point in Politicks,
which, altho' it may nearly concern them both,
neither of them understand any more
than they do each other." -- Ben Franklin 1729
I live in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, near the lower end of the valley of the Urr Water. North Glen is the core of a small farm that is half woodland. Starting from my back door, I could walk for days and rarely leave the woods except to cross the roads. Though the Stewartry is known as a farming county, one third of it is wooded. From the hillside behind my house I can see thousands of acres of trees in the Stewartry and neighbouring Dumfriesshire. Sadly, the majority of these are fast growing conifers whose genetic origin is overseas and whose destination (via flush toilet) is the sea.
There are, however, many small and a few larger remnants of semi-wild, semi-native woodland, often including broadleaved species from afar. Many of these trees are standing on steep slopes of the river and creek valleys that were cleared and ploughed at intervals from the early years of settlement until about the time of World War II. These are rich woodlands nevertheless. The soil, though not so deep as it once was, is healing from agricultural abuse and, because of the forest cover, is increasing in fertility. Some has never been ploughed or otherwise 'improved'.