It is common to notice people planting trees and nurturing them like it is their child. Rarely, do we witness someone who marries a tree and treats it like their own spouse. This woman from the United Kingdom not only married a tree but also celebrated the first anniversary of being married to it.
Kate Cunningham is a 38-year-old woman who married a tree that stands at Rimrose Valley Country Park in Sefton, Merseyside. Upon her reunion, she changed her name to Elder and considers her decision of marrying it to be the best decision she ever made. She has no plans to divorce her hubby.
Besides having a tree as her husband, Kate also has a human boyfriend and two kids whom she left home when she went to celebrate her anniversary. She was accompanied by her two friends and a bottle of elderflower champagne for the celebration.
She admitted that she immediately knew the tree was “the one” and she visits her spouse up to five times a week.
Kate explained, “I think getting married was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not once have I thought that I shouldn’t have done it. It’s something that I feel like happened at the right time.”
Even though she feels happy about her decision, her 15-year-old boy felt a little embarrassed about her decision at first but now he sees the bigger picture and understands what it was for.
Kate feels that her decision made her feel a bit more confident about herself and she doesn’t care about what anyone else feels. Marrying the tree has given her a new purpose in life.
Kate was inspired to take such a decision by female activists in Mexico who held similar ceremonies as a form of protest to raise awareness of illegal logging and land clearing.
For Kate, she hoped her marriage would attract attention to a campaign to save Rimrose Valley Country Park from being transformed into a bypass by Highways England.
Local residents campaigned to stop the new three-mile bypass which aims to ease traffic congestion through Rimrose Valley into the Port of Liverpool.
The residents claimed that the new dual carriageway will not only ruin the park but also create traffic-related noise and pollution.
Fortunately, the proposed project work which was due to begin in ‘spring 2020’ has been delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. At a consultation in 2018, Highways England refused to find alternative routes.
Talking about marrying the particular tree, Kate said, “One day I was looking around tree hunting. I was like ‘oh yea nice, nice, nice’ as I looked at the oaks, but as soon as I saw the Elder, I thought ‘that’s the one’. It doesn’t look like anything else around. I walked around it for a few hours because the park is so big. It’s very diverse with lots of different areas. This one stood alone amongst the tree. I just feel like trees are people. Sometimes you just know. You know if you feel attracted to someone or smile at them as you walk past, there’s just a natural attraction.”