Trees A Crowd


Harry Barton: Balancing Wildlife in Devon and a Vision of Natural Justice

Season 1, Ep. 18

Harry Barton is the chief executive of the Devon Wildlife Trust. He has worked for nearly 25 years in the environmental sector, including spells at the Earth Trust, the Council for National Parks, Kew Gardens, CPRE and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Amidst extolling the virtues of Devon and it’s newfound beaver population, Harry explains the Trust's mission to preserve, protect and enhance the county's areas of natural wildlife. This conversation addresses the differing roles of the wildlife trusts, environmental groups like Extinction Rebellion and individuals like Greta Thunberg in solving the crisis of climate change, but takes numerous gear changes along the way – from musings over childhood memories of cars being swept away by the river at Richmond, to the threats to our marine environment hidden beneath the waves. Harry also talks about one of the issues closest to his heart, that of the importance of the outdoors for young children, particularly for his son, who has autism.

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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: