Born in the foothills of the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya in 1940, Wangari Maathai grew up in a close-knit Kikuyu community where food, fresh water and fuel were plentiful. Her family were farmers and she grew up surrounded by the beauties of an ecologically balanced forest in which trees offered shelter and fuel as well as maintaining the water table and fostering springs and streams and farming local crops such as millet and green vegetables as well as sheep and goats meant that people were well-fed. At that time, however, Kenya was undergoing a massive adjustment as colonialism brought with it European crops and farming methods, missionaries and white settlers. The enviromental balance that the old way of life had ensured was fatally disrupted as the forests were cleared to make way for settler farms and cash crops and a cash economy were introduced. Wangari was sent to a local mission school she continued her studies in the USA in Kansas and Pittsburg as part of the Kennedy airlift. She returned to Nairobi and received a PhD, the first woman in East and Central Africa to do so, and then became head of the veterinary medicine faculty there - the first woman to achieve that too. As her life unfolded Kenya suffered under the profoundly corrupt regime of Daniel arap Moi. Land was given away, natural resources plundered and the fragile ecological balance of many different habitats was destroyed as land that had been historically put to one use was put to another.. Extreme poverty and hunger for very many Kenyans followed, and Wangari, as she visited the areas of her country that she had known as a child, was struck by the absence of trees. She realised that if women planted trees the soil would stay, rain would sink into the earth and replenish the water table, biodiversity would be sustained, there would be material for fuel and fencing and therefore the people living on the land would be better off. Thus began one of the great influences for environmental and social change of our time, the Green Belt Movement. This is an amazing story spanning different worlds and changing times and revealing what the courage, determination, tenacity and humour of one good woman can achieve and how as small a thing as planting a seedling and watering it can made all the difference in the world.