The 'marriage' was a last-ditch effort by the residents to halt plans to build a new bypass through Rimrose Valley.
A lot of people would call themselves nature lovers and be passionate about conserving the environment. But not many people mean it in the way this woman from the UK does and neither do they commit to it as she has. Kate Cunningham, who now goes by the name, Kate Rose Elder Fuller, just celebrated her first anniversary with the tree she married last year. The 38-year-old tied the knot with an elder tree at Rimrose Valley Country Park in Sefton, Merseyside. This marriage can easily make its way to the ranks as a successful marriage since Elder has no plans to divorce her tree partner, reported the Mirror UK.
The mother-of-two carried out this symbolic act and exchanged vows with the tree to bring attention to the destruction of the green spaces near where she lives. "At first it was just an idea. Then we decided that we were going to make it happen," she told Daily Mail last year. "It's a great day for all the local community to come together. It's our day." Her wedding ceremony was attended by family and friends. The rituals were carried out by local actor, musician, and poet, Davy Edge. The out of the box idea was a last-ditch effort by the residents to halt plans to build a new bypass through Rimrose Valley.
Highways England proposed the bypass which would be a three-mile-long dual carriage which would supposedly ease traffic congestion into the Port of Liverpool. Elder was inspired by a similar protest by the women in Mexico who conducted marriage ceremonies with trees to bring attention to illegal logging and land clearing. She hoped she could do the same in her region. Currently, the project has been delayed due to the pandemic but has not yet been scrapped. The Facebook page that updates news relevant to the project hopes the delay will work in their favor.
"Trees will always come first. They do keep us alive," Elder said. She visits her tree five times a week and is seen regularly climbing the branches. “I think getting married was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Me and my friends went over to the tree and said hello for a small celebration, a couple of days ago. It was a little gathering with two friends where we raised a toast and had a glass of elderflower champagne," she said about celebrating her first anniversary with the tree. She added, “Not once have I thought that I shouldn’t have done it. It’s something that I feel like happened at the right time. Despite causing a little bit of embarrassment for my 15-year-old, he sees the bigger picture now and understands what it’s for."
Marrying a tree has given the former teaching assistant a new purpose in life. “It’s something which has made me feel a bit more confident about myself. I don’t care about what anyone else says," she said. "I’ve changed my name to Elder. So even that gives me a whole new feeling. It fits in with married life as well, I feel like a changed person."