Mother-of-Two Marries a Tree


Tony Ureste, Contributor

A woman in Liverpool, England had recently married a tree, and not for the reason you might think. Kate Cunningham, or more recently Kate Rose Elder, had married an elder tree in Rimrose Valley park, and changed her surname, as an act of protest for the new road that the Highways England (in other words the government owned committee charged with improving the highways in England) plans to build right through the valley of Liverpool.

Highways England has been consulting local opinion on how to manage the heavy traffic that troubles Liverpool and the surrounding areas. The options came down to making improvements to either Church Road and Litherland road, or building a whole new highway through Rimrose Valley park. The new highway project would cost around £250 million which would be around $309 million in USD. Tim Gamon from Highways England made claims that, “The new bypass will take the existing traffic away from the A5036 as well as managing the significant increase in vehicle numbers that are anticipated with the port’s growth. We’re also committed to making improvements to the existing A5036 as part of the scheme that will benefit people who live and work in the area”.

The locals of the park however, make claims that Rimrose Valley park acts as a green transit route, children and adults use to get to and from school or work. Rimrose Valley provides a space of quiet tranquility and well-being in an otherwise heavily urbanized area. The valley also contains two wetland areas of local biological interest, and Rimrose Valley is an outstanding educational resource, enabling children and adults to connect with the natural environment. Rimrose Valley is also a source of essential clean air, filtering out pollutants.

A more intense activist had decided to take the protest against the road to a whole other level. When Kate decided to marry the elder tree in Rimrose Valley Park as a stunt to raise awareness about a campaign opposing the construction of the road. As well as change her surname to correspond with the species of the tree she plans to marry. With her family and her boyfriend supporting her, she was apply to finale spread awareness to the locals of the park and even beyond Liverpool of the new road that would destroy the park. Her oldest son was admittedly embarrassed with the news at first, but eventually came around to the idea and attend the event which meant everything to his mom. According to Kate Elder, “There is already too much pollution in our region and we desperately need a solution which addresses this; not one which will make it even worse”. When interviewed further on she declared that, “I’ve been a protester marching in street demonstrations with thousands of other people but it doesn’t attract enough attention from people, I want people to engage with the campaign and raise questions about the destruction of our green space. There are plenty of local people who aren’t even aware of what is happening”.