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Talking Trees

 

If trees could talk, what would they say? Would they talk of the past, or tomorrow or today?

In 2017 we pulled off something we weren’t sure was even possible. Thanks to a commission by the Woodland Trust and a collective of artists and tech experts, we gave nature a voice and launched Talking Trees.

The Talking Trees concept has its roots in a very special brainstorming session that brought together ecologists and technologists, 

installation artists and sonic artists, programmers and electronics engineers, Forest School leaders and natural world thought leaders.

With a shared vision of the incredible health benefits of nature, we thought, if we gave nature a voice people might just listen. And they did. Throughout London Tree Week in 2017 along with the Woodland Trust and ten of London’s best trees, we designed an immersive and magical atmosphere for Londoners to meander through and discover.

We co-designed Talking Trees with technologists, ecologists, creatives and our community, built upon 5 years of  achieving  positive outcomes for health, wellbeing and environmental stewardship through our previous nature engagement projects. Talking Trees connects people with trees. This connection unleashes the restorative effects of nature and encourages physical activity. Spending time in the natural environment is the first step towards raising awareness of and engagement with environmental issues.

We built the Talking Trees installation just past Tower Bridge in Potters Fields Park. This little green oasis, snuggled beside City Hall, is a haven for people, nature and some very special  trees. The experience included and “Audio Trail” as part of London Tree Week.

We proudly featured many wonderful people lent us their voices, including award-winning poet Claire Dyer who wrote an incredible poem for Poetree. She gave the Ash tree a voice, drawing upon mythology, history, nature and our role in looking after these endangered trees. 

Also thanks to award winning-journalist Hazel Southam who lent her voice for Histree - it's gritty and gripping! Then of course the one and only Poco Drom with the amazing Biodiversitree song - but you'll have to find the Wingnut Tree at Potters Fields Park to hear that!

Below are a few totally treelaxed folk at our debut event in Prospect Park, Reading. That oak is 400 years old!

Here is the tech team behind the scenes - a concoction of Raspberry Pi, circuit wizardry and a sprinkle of Python !

 

The NHS even provided a ‘Tree Doctor’, on duty to help combat symptoms of 'Nature Deficit Disorder' by prescribing specific talking trees and other doses of nature (including lots of fun, hands-on activities throughout the site). Thanks again to the AMAZING team that made Talking Trees a reality: Green Trees, Think Engineer, William Mathew, Richard Bentley,Richard Ganpatsingh and ThinkLockhart.

 

 

About our Wild Technology projects

We think that technology can play an important role in connecting people with nature. This is why we’re pioneering projects that activate technology to boost our connection and engagement with the wild spaces at our doorstep.