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Woman who married TREE as a form of protest in 2019 says the couple is still going strong


A mother of two married to a tree says the couple is still going strong – and they celebrate their third birthday together.

Kate Cunningham, 37, who changed her surname to Elder when she tied the knot with the elder tree in 2019 in Sefton, Merseyside, says the couple are more lovable than ever this holiday season.

The mother, who works in the care of her autistic son along with her environmental work, visits the tree up to five times a week and even decorates it with wreaths, decorations, and ornaments for Christmas.

She will spend the day boxing with the other half covered in bark – leaving the rest of her family at home in Milling, Merseyside.

Kate married the tree three years ago in protest of plans to build a sidewalk through her local country park at the time.

Kate Cunningham, who changed her surname to Elder when she tied the knot with Big Tree in 2019 in Sefton, Merseyside, said the couple are more lovable than ever this holiday season.

Kate, pictured, who changed her name through a poll to Kate Rose 'Elder', married Tree Protest over plans to build a sidewalk through her local country park at the time

Kate, pictured, who changed her name through a poll to Kate Rose ‘Elder’, married Tree Protest over plans to build a sidewalk through her local country park at the time

The mother of one of the children said the tree compliments her and that her love has only grown since their wedding at Rimrose Valley Country Park in September 2019.

She described the tree as part of her family and said their union changed her life for the better.

Kate even signs her Christmas cards as “With Winter Wishes, From Mr. and Mrs. Elder.”

The former teacher admitted she sometimes holds up to five visits a week, with this accelerating during lockdowns.

On her wedding day, Kate, right, wore a floral tiara and a bark dress to celebrate the event.

On her wedding day, Kate, right, wore a floral tiara and a bark dress to celebrate the event.

She plans to visit the tree on Boxing Day to make sure it doesn’t get left out of her festive festivities.

‘It’s our third birthday together now,’ she said, so it’s like a tradition to take out the decorations for him.

When I was laying it down, the tree was more attractive to me than ever in the bright December sun.

I made a wreath with the holy winter berries, ivy, pine, and red raspberries that I hunted down from a walk over the weekend.

The one she craves: Kate said she was immediately drawn to the tree in Rimrose Valley Country Park

The one she craves: Kate said she was immediately drawn to the tree in Rimrose Valley Country Park

Kate, showing off her wedding ring, visits the tree five times a week

The mother of two told her that their bond is still strong

Kate, showing her wedding ring, left, visits the tree five times a week and says their bond is still strong

“Plus I added a little drizzle of festive glitter.”

Kate, from the nearby village of Melling, knew right away that the larger tree was the “tree” because of the earthly energy pulling her toward it.

When visiting Rimrose Valley Country Park to find the tree she would marry, her attraction to the elder was immediately in effect.

The tree-loving mother has always felt connected to nature, but she is connected to the larger tree on a much deeper level than anything else in the garden.

Kate decorated the tree for Christmas and plans to leave her family at home on Boxing Day to spend some quality time with him

Kate decorated the tree for Christmas and plans to leave her family at home on Boxing Day to spend some quality time with him

wood do it?  Kate married the tree in order to protect Rimrose Valley Country Park in 2019

wood do it? Kate married a tree to protect Rimrose Valley Country Park in 2019

said Kate, who appeared in the photo on

Kate, who is pictured on her ‘wedding’ day, said she was in love with the tree and that it changed her life for the better.

She was drawn to the light bark color and its large size, saying that it stood out from the dark oak trees in the garden.

She added, “People are still asking questions and still not sure of my motives behind the wedding.

I was told, “Has marriage changed your life for the better?” Yes she has!

“Do you like the tree?” yes I do!’

Kate’s family and friends are fully supportive of her marriage because they know she has always felt intimately connected to the earth.

For Kate, trees are like people – they have energy and the ability to form connections with the things around them.

But it cannot be said that her union with the bush was completely monogamous – Kate had a friend who was with her every step of the way.

He supports her choice and joins Kate on some of her visits, unfazed by the kisses and hugs.

She still proudly wears her wedding ring, which was a birthday gift from her grandfather a few years ago.

The marriage gave Kate a new chance of the confidence she’s channeling into climate activism.

Kate's boyfriend was supportive of her choice of husband, sometimes the three would visit with her

Kate’s boyfriend was supportive of her choice of husband, sometimes the three would visit with her

It is said that the stepfather of two did not train in stages by cuddling Kate and hugging the tree

It is said that the stepfather of two did not train in stages by cuddling Kate and hugging the tree

The marriage was part of the Winder’s campaign to save Rimrose Valley Country Park from turning into a side lane of National Highways.

Locals have campaigned to stop the new three-mile side lane, which is believed to ease traffic congestion, through Remrose Valley and into Liverpool Harbour.

They argued that the dual carriageway would eliminate a large chunk of green space and only redirect pollution into an ecological hub.

Kate said she loves people asking questions because it gives her a chance to share her marital joy, as well as raise awareness of Rimrose Valley Country Park.

It was inspired by Mexican women who married trees several years ago to highlight illegal logging and clear land there.



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