Listening in the forests
Forests are amazing places…
step inside, close your eyes and just listen and see what you can hear, there is always something going on. Sometimes those ‘somethings’ are going on underneath your feet…
Today is International Day of Forests and a good time to re-think how incredible they are. Trees have complex communication systems – scientists have shown that trees not only talk to each other, they also transfer nutrients too, even between different species, helping each other on a forest-scale. How amazing is that!!
Check out Patagonia’s really beautiful film Treeline: A Story Written In Rings for more on this.
Today is also World Poetry Day! Last year I had my eyes opened to a very special poem by Mandy Haggith called Listening to Trees in an email from Trees for Life. This had amazing resonance for me as I was at Kew’s Wakehurst Place where Alex Metcalf had installed his Tree Listening Project and we were actually doing just that – listening to the sound of the water moving up the xylem. Extraordinary! See his website ffi.
At Wakehurst 600 kids and adults climbed up into a fabulous oak trees in the wildwood forest, giving us all a wonderful immersive experience, listening to life in the forest. And I am sure the forest was listening to us too!
Later today, go into the forest, select a tree, put your cheek against the trunk, close your eyes and breathe: what can you hear?
Listening to the Trees
by Mandy Haggith
And the birch says
it’s about dancing and colour
and the rowan says
it’s about berries and birds
and the willow says
it’s about shape and shelter
and the hazel says
it’s about love and lichen
and the aspen says
it’s about growth and the wind
but I say it’s about
listening to the trees
Reproduced by permission of the author.
This is a fantastic adventure for kids and adults. We climbed a massive oak tree (myself and my two boys 11 and 16) … You climb the tree in your own time I went up once and sat and admired the view for a while but my youngest boy managed to go up and down three times. The price of the ticket included access to Bowhill grounds which as the sun was shining was great to walk around and there is also a courtyard coffee shop. All Highly recommended.