Woman marries tree, plans change of name

Kate Cunningham, a 34-year-old mother of two, has ‘tied the knot’ with a tree and now has plans to change her name to reflect her new marital status to the unusual species she got hitched to.
Cunningham held her unusual wedding in the presence of her family and friends in a Merseyside park. She wore an olive green dress, a home made skirt and green pumps for the symbolic ceremony.
Cunnigham who is an activist from Meling in her explanation as to why she decided to ‘marry’ the elder tree in Litherland’s Rimrose Valley Park told the Liverpool Echo that it is a stunt to raise awareness about a campaign opposing the construction of a new bypass. She also told the media house that she now plans to change her name to Kate Rose Elder by deed poll.
Speaking a day before the wedding, she told the Echo: “My boyfriend is very supportive of my decision. He’s even helped make props for the ceremony. My oldest son was initially embarrassed when I told him I was going to do it, but now he has decided to come to the ceremony. It means a lot to him to be there. My dad has been very supportive. He’s been out in his van helping to organise everything for the big day.”
She added: “At first it was just an idea. Then we decided that we were going to make it happen. It’s a great day for all the local community to come together. It’s our day.”
Local residents have been campaigning to block the new three-mile bypass through Rimrose Valley. Proposed by Highways England, it is intended to ease traffic congestion into the Port of Liverpool.
Her stunt was inspired by female activists in Mexico who held similar wedding ceremonies to raise awareness about illegal logging and land clearing. She said:
“The spark for this idea came when it was announced that road was going to be built. 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 greenspace. There are plenty of local people who aren’t even aware of what is happening.”

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