Greta is a tree in what was a ‘zona natural’ in La Sella. In September Greta will die. It is a legal death ordered by the Pedreguer Town Hall. Greta will no longer produce 130 kgs of oxygen a year. Yes 130 kgs. Greta will no longer remove 2600 kgs of carbon dioxide a year. Greta’s contribution to reducing the earth’s temperature will cease. Greta will not be replaced. In fact over the last three years 800 trees have been killed in La Sella. That is 104,000 kgs of oxygen per year removed from the atmosphere and 2,080,000 kgs of carbon dioxide added a year.

Greta is being killed to develop luxury apartments. Nobody can stop the death, nobody cares and nobody will replace the lost trees. Is this right? It is legal. It has the authority of the Pedreguer Town Hall who have licensed this death. In the region of Madrid a permit is required to kill a tree and to get the permit there is cost and a requirement for three more trees to replace each tree. You can see here what is left when the trees have gone.

How does a ‘zona natural’ become a building development site? In the 1980’s Promociones Denia got permission from the Pedreguer Town Hall and the Generalitat to build the La Sella urbanisation. The permission required the building of a religious institution, the Buddhist Centre, and designated a number of green areas as ‘zona natural’ that could not be built on.

By 2006 the land had been acquired by a Madrid building company who got the Pedreguer Town Hall to redesignate this ‘zona natural’ for the building of public service developments such as a school, hospital or church. In 2016 this building company further got the Pedreguer Town Hall to redesignate again so that luxury apartments could be built. This company is now legally killing the trees in this previous ‘zona natural’, legally pounding out noise at levels over 90 dbls from 8am to 6pm five days a week and legally putting granite dust in to the air that can damage the lungs of children. Is this right?

I live in an apartment close to this development. When I bought my apartment I was told, verbally sadly, that it was against the law to build on ‘zona natural’. I bought from Promociones Denia who subsequently obtained permits from the Pedreguer Council to convert ‘zona natural’ in to building land. It will be interesting to understand the financial flows involved in this change.

I have put this together by talking to local Spanish people to understand how things ‘work in Spain.’ I will update my understanding as I get more information. As this development has a permit allowing the builder to destroy this environment over the next four years I need to make a decision. Do I do something about it or accept this is the way things work in Spain and go somewhere else for four years?

I am told if we got a million signatures, made pleas to the government or sought journalist investigation in to how the changes of land designation occurred then Greta will still die in September.

Is this right?

Categories: Boundaries


I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.