Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Exeter Tree Tales >>> from Common Ground

We are in the middle of summer, so perhaps looking to Tree Dressing Day in December is premature:

Tree Dressing Day - The Charter

From a wonderful organisation:

Blog - The Charter for Trees, Woods and People
Meanwhile, they are working with another wonderful organisation:

Common Ground is working with the Woodland Trust to create LEAF!, a series of seasonal newspapers celebrating the cultural and practical relationship between trees and communities.

Throughout 2016 we will be sharing tree stories, art, poetry, articles, tree maps, and ideas to help get us all talking about and celebrating the trees in our parks, orchards, allotments, woods, copses, spinneys and forests. Our first issue is bursting with stories inspired by the spring instinct to build nests. Birds, bats, bees, people: all make their homes with trees. Branches, sticks, trunks, forks, hollows: these are the raw materials that animals and people use for building places to shelter in and raise their young.
There has never been a more urgent time to reawaken our consciousness and re-articulate the benefits and connections between trees and people. The Charter for Trees, Woods and People is a reminder: by putting trees back into the forefront of our imagination and our daily lives, we are also keeping them in our landscapes. Across the UK, volunteer-led groups called Charter Branches are springing up to connect people with the trees and woods in their communities. These groups will ensure that every person in the UK has the opportunity to help define the new charter, and to stand up for the trees and woods in their lives by becoming a ‘Charter Champion’. This is our chance to become part of history, and to help create a future for the UK in which trees and people are stronger together. Start a Charter Branch in your area.
We would like you to join us by telling us why trees and woods are important to you and your community. Is there a special tree in your neighbourhood? Do you have a cherished woodland that you walk in with your family and friends? Do you have a favourite tree, one that you or children climb and build dens beneath? Or is there an heirloom at home that was cut, carved, whittled, sculpted from wood? We would like receive your stories, maps and artworks so we can add your voice to the Charter for Trees, Woods and People and publish them in forthcoming issues of LEAF! If you would like share your tree stories please get in touch with Common Ground or the Woodland Trust.
Also get in touch with Common Ground or the Woodland Trust if you can help circulate free, physical copies of the newspapers in your school, organisation or community group.
Download the digital edition of the Spring LEAF! and Summer LEAF!

LEAF! - Common Ground

With a special project happening this summer in Exeter:

Common Ground is getting to work in Exeter to make a heritage map of the city’s trees. What are the city’s favourites and what do they mean to you? We are working with the University of Exeter to create a new book and map of the city’s most notable ‘Tree Tales’. And we want to hear from you!

You might think of the beautiful community orchard hidden away in Devonshire Place. Or the plane tree on Sidwell Street that mysteriously fills with long-tailed tits in spring and autumn evenings. You might even think of the phone mast, thinly disguised as a tree on a hill above Ludwell Valley Park. What would you add to this list? We’re inviting Exeter to speak up and tell us which particular trees matter to you, and why. For three months this summer we’ll be collecting ‘Tree Tales’ and building an archive of the city’s living tree history. Find out how you can get involved below…
A ‘Tree Tale’ might be whatever you can find out about a place name or a significant event related to a tree. It might be the story behind a local family nickname for a tree, a bit of folklore or urban myth, a striking memory, or a regular way in which favourite trees mark the changing of the seasons. We’re interested in what people know already, and in what a little investigation can find out. Whatever it might be, we’d like to hear from you. No ‘Tree Tale’ is too small.
With a Gospel Oak, a Major Oak, a Sun Oak, even a ‘Big Belly Oak’ (in Wiltshire), British trees have long found themselves associated with curious histories. It was under The Martyr’s Tree, a 300 hundred-year-old sycamore in Tolpuddle, Dorset, that farm labourers formed the first Trade Union. In Maidford in Northamptonshire, a pine tree was planted on the edge of the churchyard for every young man who died in the First World War, a poignant expression of memory and grief. Trees across the country collect such intriguing histories, but what about Exeter?
‘Mapping Exeter’s Tree Tales’ isn’t just about official history. It’s about the wildly different ways in which we all enjoy trees. Whether you’re young or old, knowledgeable or just curious, whether you’re born and bred in Exeter or living here from somewhere else in the world, we want to hear what you have to say about particular trees that mean something to you in and around the city.
We want to know where the best conker trees and walnut trees and plum trees are. We want to know where you can find sweet chestnuts in Exeter, or which woods or parks play host to the best bluebells or elderflowers. We want to know which trees are best for climbing and which trees have unusual bird’s nests in them. We want to know about trees that were planted to mark occasions, trees that have been fought for and defended against development, and trees that have been brought here from overseas.
The project begins on June 1st when we will be launching a poetry competition and a photography competition for new poems and photographs that help us to see familiar trees from a fresh perspective. There will be £50 cash prizes for each (see details below).

Exeter Tree Tales - Common Ground

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