Trees A Crowd


The Art of Trees: Live from the Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Woodland Trust

Season 1

Trees have captured the imagination of some of Britain’s most important landscape painters, with artists including John Constable and Paul Nash inspired by their diversity of form, character and symbolic significance. Here, in discussion with David in his role as an Ambassador for the Woodland Trust, art historian Christiana Payne and artist Angela Summerfield celebrate the majestic beauty of our woodland and the role of trees in inspiring some of our greatest artworks. “The Art Of Trees” was recorded live at The Times and The Sunday Times 70th Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2019 and was supported by The Woodland Trust.

More Episodes


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

Season 4, Ep. 3
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 Stuart Cossey. Rosie, a marine specialist, enthuses about the marine protected areas and no take zone that surround much of the island. These are waters that harbour grey seals, minke whales and basking sharks, as well as spiny lobsters, sea slugs, and a stunning array of rare corals. Stuart - the island's resident "bird guy" - explains that despite being named for one of the island's most colourful avian inhabitants ('lund' is the Old Norse word for 'Puffin'), Lundy is actually far more exciting due to its Manx Shearwater population. The majority of the UK's Manx Shearwaters breed on Lundy, and as such Stuart takes David out at sunset to ring a few of these amazing creatures. All of that, as well as pygmy shrews, the world's rarest cabbage, and a tale of why Rosie spent much of the Covid-19 lockdown on Lundy walking around collecting animal droppings, and you've got a tiny island (and brimming podcast) that punches far above its weight. For further information on this and other episodes, visit: