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Trees A Crowd

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/ Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/ Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/ Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Language:

English


Episodes

Dr Gavin Broad: Broadening horizons with Darwin's wasps and other tales of cannibalism, incest and zombies

8/2/2022
Dr Gavin Broad’s love of nature was initially inspired by the birdlife of the Wirral. However, the summer lull in avian activity lead the 15-year-old Broad towards an interest in moths, and from there it was only a zombie caterpillar away from the creatures that were to inspire his professional identity and take him as far afield as Chile; Parasitoid wasps! “Darwin Wasps” account for 10% of all British insects - that’s over 7000 distinct wasps - and Broad insists that everyone can easily...

Duration:00:57:15

Lost on Lundy: The hidden treasures of a wildlife landmark; aka, “David adventures to Puffin Island!”

7/5/2022
Since the late 1960s, Lundy Island - just off the north coast of Devon and measuring only half a mile wide at its widest point - has been owned and operated by two British charities; the National Trust and the Landmark Trust. Prior to this, Lundy was owned by wealthy megalomaniacs, pirates, gamblers, revolutionaries, neolithic fisher-people, and a whole array of wildlife. In this week's episode, David Oakes visits Lundy to speak with the island's current wildlife wardens, Rosie Ellis and...

Duration:00:42:48

Bonus Beatrice: Bearded Seals & Ice Flowers - further stories from the ice sheets

6/14/2022
A little bonus Bea that we couldn't quite squeeze into this month's main episode. Enjoy! Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:04:24

Beatrice von Preussen: All the little things that inspired an artist to travel from pole to pole

6/7/2022
In her Brighton studio, the artist, explorer, science communicator and self-professed 'child', Beatrice von Preussen, explores her obsession with "little things". Whether tadpole, snail shell, wax-worm or fossilised prehistoric crustacean, Bea explains how it is the small things that have made her dream big. Here she discusses her journey to the arctic - where she spent weeks alone during the sun-drenched midsummer, armed with pencils, paper, (an emergency rifle for polar bear repellant),...

Duration:00:46:52

George Monbiot: Feeding our future with heaven-sent bacteria and home-brewed scrumpy!

5/24/2022
George Monbiot is a prolific writer and journalist, known particularly for his environmental and political activism. But, this episode - not simply about his being beaten or arrested for his political views, or indeed about the time he was stung into a coma by hornets or when he actually died (according to a Brazilian newspaper) - is about fixing our follies and feeding our future. Over a glass of George’s home-brewed cider, David and George discuss the possibility of a 'regenesis' - a...

Duration:01:12:50

Norwegian Spruce: Our Viking Christmas Tree; aka ‘The Return of the Native’

12/24/2021
BONUS EPISODE: For Christmas, David Oakes explores the cultural importance of the non-native Christmas Tree, the Norwegian Spruce (Picea abies). Although native to our shores before the most recent Ice Age, it took Vikings from Scandanavia, Princes from Saxe-Coburg, Violinists from Italy and Horses from Aintree to truly root the Norwegian Spruce into our National identity - and that's not to mention any British Christmas rituals. Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to...

Duration:00:08:31

Holly: Merry berries & mistle thrushes deck our true native Christmas tree

12/21/2021
Our fifty-sixth (and final!) tree, Holly (Ilex aquifolium). Released to coincide with the Winter Solstice, aka the end of the rule of the Holly King, this episode celebrates a tree that is rooted in the winter celebrations of Celts, Romans, Christians, and even Cretaceous Dinosaurs! For centuries it has also fed the cattle that feeds us, it has supported generations of over-wintering birds (such as the greedy Mistle Thrush) and it has kept Goblins, Witches and arson-obsessed Cumbrian...

Duration:00:32:20

The Viburnums: Ways fared to Guelderland via chalk paths and waterlogged fens

12/14/2021
Our fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth trees, the Wayfaring Tree (Viburnum lantana) and the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus) - aka the Viburnums. It’s all about names this week. Not only do these trees have two of the strangest common names, but they also have a rich array of traditional folk names too. But whether you’re discussing Crampbark, the Snowball Tree, the Water Elder, or the Hoarwithy, its fair to say that these two trees aren’t the most palatable plants for our nation’s wildlife, but...

Duration:00:11:22

Elder: The people’s purple medicine chest lined with pariahs, period pop-guns & poo

12/7/2021
Our fifty-third tree, Elder (Sambucus nigra). The “medicine chest of the common people” has probably helped keep more people healthy than any other native British tree, and yet it is derided for its smell, associated with Christ’s betrayal, and when burnt is said to provide a mouthpiece for the devil and/or a malign tree spirit. The Elder is a symbol of Summer, has one of the most cherished berries out there (cherished by both man and beast), and has inspired our greatest playwrights,...

Duration:00:20:28

Wild Privet: Your country needs Spitfires, stick-insects and an untrimmed bush!

11/30/2021
Our fifty-second tree, Privet or Wild Privet (Ligustrum vulgare). It's NATIONAL TREE WEEK! To celebrate; the tree our host was dreading writing an episode about - a tree he has sadly often cast aside as dull and uninteresting. Far from it (ish). Here grow stories of Spitfires and school Biology labs, as well as the pretty special manner in which Privet creates its foliage (which is fantastic for nesting birds, hungry insects, and even draws in bats!) (Special thanks to Al Petrie and Louise...

Duration:00:09:17

Ash: Unlocking dieback with firelight, hurley sticks & Heiðrún the Viking goat

11/23/2021
Our fifty-first tree, Ash (Fraxinus excelsior). One of the British Isles’ most plentiful trees… for now. This week’s episode explores the Ash’s struggle against “Ash Dieback” and what you can do to help halt its spread; a refreshed look at the Viking’s obsession with the Ash Tree in their mythology, and; an exploration of the oh-so-many things this magnificent tree has offered up to society. That, and a good old sing-song courtesy of Lady Celia Congreve and music maestro Gary Hickeson. More...

Duration:00:21:18

Strawberry Tree: No, not that kind... rather, a god-sent Irish oddity with several subterranean secrets

11/16/2021
Our fiftieth tree, the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus undo). The sole tree on our list of “native trees to the British Isles” that does not occur on the British mainland. The Strawberry Tree, or “Killarney Strawberry Tree”, is very much an Irish tree. Ant there’s no surprise for why the Irish keep it to themselves, for the Strawb is a stunner! More colourful fruits than any of the English trees; leaves that hide tales of a semi-tropical past; several subterranean secrets (and not just the usual...

Duration:00:13:11

Dogwood: Victorian dating & rodent reanimating; the secrets of the bloody whippletree

11/9/2021
Our forty-ninth tree, is Dogwood (Cornus sanguina) - aka, the Whipple Tree, the Bloody Rod, Prickwood… one of our most colourful native species (with both foliage and twigs turning a rich scarlet) and a tree that contains multiple medical uses - it acts as an anti-inflammatory and can even induce the neurogenesis of stem cells in rats! It has inspired a fairy race of brownie-like “Dogwood people”, may well have been the tree that Jesus was crucified upon, and it was used as a love token by...

Duration:00:10:41

Brigit Strawbridge Howard: As busy as a bee, whilst remaining humble as a bumble

11/5/2021
Whether you know her from her Wainwright Prize nominated “Dancing with Bees”, from her time on the BBC’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, or from her intoxicating twitter-feed, there’s no denying that Brigit Strawbridge Howard is charming, endlessly-inquisitive and has truly let nature into her very soul. But it has not always been that way. Here - in an incredibly personal interview - Brigit explains how Nature didn’t feature in her early childhood whatsoever - only eventually making itself...

Duration:01:01:06

The Limes: Bast-ardly BIG trees smothered in glamrock moths & decapitated bees

11/2/2021
Our forty-sixth and forty-seventh trees are our two native Limes, (Tilia cordata) and (Tilia platyphyllos). These are trees you can hear before you get the chance to set your eyes upon them - they literally hum with invertebrate life. Limes attract the most psychedelic of caterpillars, doomed bees destined to be decapitated by greedy birds, and (somewhat predictably) humankind seeking the lime’s delicate timber and the versatile bast fibres that lie beneath the bark. This “benevolence to...

Duration:00:22:25

Sycamore: The mucilage & mysteries stuck upon our misunderstood martyr maple

10/26/2021
Our forty-fifth tree, Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). Suffering from a somewhat mistaken identity (partly due to Christianity, and partly due to some pompous Elizabethans), the Sycamore is a much maligned non-native - but now naturalised - tree. It’s a sticky survivor that loves our country. Only now, with the help of Silvologists like Dr Gabriel Hemery, are we beginning to place greater value upon this mighty immigrant. Add the fact that a lone Sycamore in Tolpuddle, Dorset, helped solidify...

Duration:00:15:41

Field Maple: Is it a BIRD (tongue)? Is it (an experimental Second World War) PLANE (cargo drop)? No! It's the colourful corky bungs of the SAPINDACEAE!

10/19/2021
Our forty-fourth tree, Field Maple (Acer campestre); the sole truly native member of an incredibly colourful family. Their branches have supported Roman vines, the fruits have inspired modern military design, and the wood is one of the most sonorous - inspiring everyone from Stradivarius to Fender. You can drink its sap, make salads from its leaves; but the best way for your senses to enjoy the Field, and indeed all Maples, is simple to open one’s eyes at the end of Autumn. Unforgettable...

Duration:00:14:44

Hornbeam: Hardwood for smelting Boy Scouts & yoking chariots to hunt Ben Hur!

10/12/2021
Our forty-third tree, Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). As hard as horn, and... well... 'beam' just means 'tree'. A beautiful leafy canopy supporting biodiversity year-round, it has been used by humans for centuries to smelt iron and to harness the power of beasts, and you probably just thought it was an odd Beech tree! Truth is, it should be more loved than it is... because it isn't planning on going anywhere anytime soon! More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the...

Duration:00:07:40

Hazel: "Monsieur, with your mellow fruitfulness, Dormice and ancient epigenetic poetical-pescatarianism, you are really spoiling us!"

10/5/2021
Our forty-second tree, Hazel (Corylus avellana). DORMICE! Enjoy. But, if you need more: we explore the pros and cons of modern agricultural hedge-care, how the Elizabethans were addicted to ‘filberts’, how Ferrero accidentally use 25% of the whole World’s hazelnuts, and we have poetry from all four corners of the British Isles - Phil Cumbus reading Shakespeare and Keats, Pollyanna McIntosh with Rabbie Burns, Katie McGrath with some cob-guzzling-salmon-based ancient Irish folklore, and Dylan...

Duration:00:19:08

The Birches: Magic Shrooms to Witches Brooms, the A to Z of the Birch nurtured

9/28/2021
Our fortieth and forty-first trees, the Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Downy Birch (Betula pubescens) - with apologies to the Dwarf Birch (Betula nana). Our birches are some of our very earliest colonisers, and as such there is little the birch does not nurture; for example, its mycorrhizal relationships support hallucinogenic mushrooms, witches’ brooms and barber’s razors, we drink it, and prisoners of gulags have even written love letters on it… The birch was also instrumental in...

Duration:00:18:04