Trees A Crowd


Dr Jo Elworthy: Living in Eden – how to leave the world better than you found it

Season 1, Ep. 21

Dr Jo Elworthy is a botanist and the director of interpretation at the Eden Project in Cornwall. She’s been involved with Eden since its inception, and has spent a great deal of time researching plantlife as well as creating books and films specialising in botany and horticulture. A chance encounter with the man who dreamt up the Eden Project, Sir Tim Smit, led her to take the biggest risk of her career – and the best decision of her life. The sounds of robins frame this conversation as Dr Elworthy sets out to prove that we can leave the world better than we found it, armed with many captivating anecdotes about the trail that led her to paradise. Jo also talks about her collection of four-leaf clovers, how to make art inspired by cyanobacteria, filling her father’s Jaguar with winkles, and why moss is as spectacular as David has been telling people it is for the past 30 years!

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Dr William C. Tweed: The secret histories of John Muir’s Giant Redwoods

Season 2, Ep. 18
Dr William C. Tweed is a lover of Big Trees - the Giant Redwoods of California to be precise. An historian and naturalist, he has a career spanning over 30 years working for the US national park service, and after holding several roles at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, spent a decade as its Chief Naturalist. Whether it’s describing what a Giant Redwood is through a comparison to the miniscule mosquito, or a deep dive into numerous secret histories of mankind's fascinations with these trees, William will have you captivated, falling in love with, and longing to hug, the giant sequoia. In exploring the tree’s many wonderful evolutionary features, and the serene images he paints of the Sierra Nevada, William explains that our passion for sequoias starts with our love of that which is “big, and old, and rare”, and then continues to grow tall. William explores the history of the “Father of the National Parks” himself, John Muir - how his religious upbringing inspired his writing (his works serving as a “secular Bible” for those devoted to nature) - and how the Sierra Club is still following firmly in Muir’s footsteps today. Among William’s teachings are plenty of digressions and distractions - charming moments of a mind as fascinated by nature today as he has ever been.For further information on this and other episodes, visit: