When Kate Milman was 21, she paused her English degree at the University of East Anglia to join protests against the Newbury bypass. It was 1996, and the road was being carved out through idyllic wooded countryside in Berkshire. She took up residence in a treehouse, in the path of the bulldozers, and lived there for months. It was a revelation. She lived intimately with the catkins, the calling birds, the slow-slow-fast change in the seasons. Despite being in a precarious position as a protester, she felt completely safe and her brain was calmed.