Trees A Crowd


Rebecca Speight: The Overstory and Understory of the Woodland Trust

Season 1, Ep. 12

Rebecca Speight is currently the CEO of the Woodland Trust and will shortly be taking over the reigns of the RSPB. Beccy began her foray into the Natural World to satisfy her “sense of connectivity”. Following years working for the National Trust she was ultimately appointed to her current role in 2014, where she heads up the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK (for which David has proudly become an ambassador.) In this in-depth conversation, she discusses the devastating decline in ancient woodland - which has almost halved in the past 50 years, elaborates on the “Young People’s Forest” project which aims to inspire and engage new generations on environmental concerns, and talks about the landscapes and literature that have come to shape her as an individual working for our beautiful and historic country.

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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: