Trees A Crowd


Wolfgang Buttress and Dr Martin Bencsik: Hive minds waxing lyrical

Season 1, Ep. 11

Wolfgang Buttress is an award-winning artist who creates multi-sensory artworks that draw inspiration from our evolving relationship with nature, and Dr Martin Bencsik is an associate professor in the School of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University. Together they have become a unique creative force! Here, talking to David, they discuss their initial collaboration, HIVE. At 17 metres tall and now based at Kew Gardens, the sculpture represents the intrinsic relationship between bees, humans and our shared landscape. Their most recent collaboration, BEAM, which made its debut at Glastonbury Festival 2019, is co-produced with Greenpeace, and converts signals from a nearby bee colony and ambient sounds from the surrounding concert stages into light and sound effects to provide an ever-changing soundscape – and a truly immersive experience. If that isn’t enough, they recall when they filled Martin’s wife’s cello with bees... as one does!

More Episodes


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: