Trees A Crowd


Dr Steve Etches: Plumbing the prehistoric depths of the Kimmeridge Clay

Season 1, Ep. 5

Dr Steve Etches MBE is a renowned fossil expert. His collection of over 2,000 pieces from the Kimmeridge Clay include remains of ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs and a whole host of Jurassic marine life. Once housed in his garage, the collection is now on display at the Etches Collection in Dorset. In this in-depth conversation, he describes how he stumbled across the world's first ammonite eggs, shares how his discoveries still give him “that same childhood thrill” that he first experienced as a five-year-old, and explains how the centre, with 25,000 visitors a year, is as much about educating people about the past as it is preserving it.

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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: