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Showing posts from September, 2007

Smouldering olive trees scar the Peloponnese in Greece.

I am saddened to hear the devastation caused by the forest fires in Olympia, Greece, where more than 60 people have been killed since last week. Thousands of internal refugees are now homeless across the Peloponnese. The ancient ruins of Olympia, site of the original Olympic Games, were close to destruction but thankfully an operation involving 15 fire engines supported by aircraft and helicopters managed to save this sacred site.
Approx 4m olive trees have been ravished by the fires so far. These beautiful trees can be exceptionally long-lived, up to several centuries, and can remain productive for as long, provided they are pruned correctly and regularly.The problem is that they grow very slowly, so the landscape will remain naked and scarred for many years to come.
I'm off to Crete in under 3 weeks time, so to pay homage, I plan to seek out an olive tree in Crete, claimed to be over 2,000 years old. Let's hope its still there.