George Mombiot questions Owen Paterson's motives for agreeing to build a motor service station in an ancient woodland with historical importance for the local people. "A tree is a tree" Ronald Reagan once said and Paterson is prepared to cut down the ancient woodland as long as more trees are planted than destroyed. Perhaps if the environmental secretary had paid some attention in ecology lessons he would know that an ancient woodland is not the same as monoculture of newly planted saplings.