The Tree Conference – an exciting new venture spearheaded by a collective of eco activists, school teachers and sustainable landscape architects in Somerset – is to present a one-day networking event at Red Brick Building, Glastonbury on Saturday 4 November, highlighting the crucial role trees and forests can play in mitigating climate change and ocean acidification.
Featuring world class speakers, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Bruce Parry, Wendy Stephenson and Dr Alan Rayner, the 100-seat conference will be broadcast to a global audience via livestream, imparting leading-edge information about tree science, tree function and global reforestation strategies. The event will also be a call to action, demonstrating how we can personally and collectively contribute to sharing the growing wisdom about trees and forests, globally.
Suzi Martineau, Organiser of The Tree Conference, says:
“The conference will bring together leading tree and forestry experts, environmentalists, tree lovers and enthusiasts, to celebrate the life-supporting benevolence of trees and the latest ground-breaking science surrounding them and their eco-systems. Broadcasting the event worldwide, we will also showcase local initiatives in Somerset which exemplify the latest international developments in this work, to provide momentum and inspiration for how we can best plant to re-balance the upper atmosphere and save our life-support systems on Earth.
“With UK forest cover currently at just 12%1, one of the lowest country rates in Europe, we will also shed light on the stark realities facing trees in Britain. And with so many of our native trees under threat, including ash, oak, chestnut and six of the conifers that make up 62%2 of our forest cover, now is the time to give our energy to supporting the wave of planting happening here in the UK.3”
Lively panel discussions at The Tree Conference will begin with an evaluation of which trees can best accommodate the predicted changes in environmental conditions.
Canada-based biochemist and botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger, will give a talk via Skype sharing the latest scientific tree research and her recommendations for tree planting, as well as introducing her new film, The Call of the Forest. Award-winning documentary presenter and explorer Bruce Parry, renowned for his BBC series’ Tribe, Amazon and Arctic – where he lived with tribes across the world’s environmental frontline – will expound on the sentience of trees, as explored in his new film Tawai: A voice from the forest.
Wendy Stephenson, Treasurer of TreeSisters, will interview Claire Dubois, the founder of the remarkable TreeSisterscharity, credited with spearheading a global ‘Reforestation Revolution’. They will discuss thriving TreeSisters projects on the ground in India, Africa and South America, and their unique method of working with female supporters. And ecologist, artist and author of new book Origin Life Patterns, Dr Alan Rayner – former President of the British Mycological Society – will explain the impact of certain fungi on branch decay, heartwood and the roots of trees.
The core themes of The Tree Conference will be evocatively illustrated by a Tree Art Exhibition to be displayed at Red Brick Building over two weeks either side of the event, featuring tree-inspired artists.
Devised as a networking event for local representatives of national organisations, the conference will also provide a unique opportunity to meet leaders from a variety of local tree-related projects, with a breadth of knowledge to share – from planting and caring for fruit-bearing orchards and using mycorrhizal fungi for clearing toxic waste, to re-wilding, permaculture and planting trees to create sacred space.
Working closely with the local Town Council, the conference is excited to showcase the work of organisations like the Woodland Trust, the Royal Forestry Society, the Wildlife Trust and the National Trust, giving an inspirational insight into how much is already happening and the depth of so many peoples’ existing relationships with trees.
Suzi Martineau says: “The Tree Conference aims to contribute to the wider global movement to provide inspiring, practical and workable, citizen-led maps to a harmonious future. Come along in person or join us live online if you feel called to support the role of trees in the re-greening of our Earth and regeneration of our soils.”
1 The Read Report, ‘Combating Climate Change: A Role for UK Forests’ 2009 The Stationary Office Ltd
2 Forestry Commission Statistics, 2013
3 UK Government commitment to planting 11 million trees by 2020
For more information about The Tree Conference visit:
- Tickets to The Tree Conference cost £100; £75 Early Bird, if booked before 31 August. Includes buffet lunch. To buy your tickets visit: http://www.thetreeconference.com/buytickets
- A limited number of Concession tickets can be purchased for £60 (with buffet lunch) or £50 (without lunch) – to apply contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- To find out how you can watch the event live online, visit www.thetreeconference.com