Only a few of the big ones are left over. The trees stand in little groups on both sides of the valley. “This all used to be forest,” says Matthias Scheidt. “Today I can’t think of five kilometers that aren’t monoculture.”
A monoculture that supplants the forest — that’s what happens in Brazil or Indonesia, with sugar cane or oil palm plantations. But environmental campaigner Scheidt isn’t referring to faraway places. He’s talking about his home region in the Hochsauerland region of western Germany.