Trees A Crowd


Mark Frith: a legacy of Britain's ancient oaks

Season 1, Ep. 1

Mark Frith is an artist and film-maker. His documentaries include “The War on Love”, “Hotel Splendide”, and BAFTA award-winning documentary “The Lie of the Land”. In 2011, he began a project which was commissioned by the late publisher and poet Felix Dennis to draw 20 large scale, intricate portraits of Britain’s ancient oak trees. His series of graphite drawings, which took the best part of a decade to complete, were gifted to the Royal Botanical Society’s permanent collection at Kew and to Felix Dennis’ Heart of England Forest charity. In this in-depth conversation, Mark shares his childhood memories of growing up in Gloucestershire, explains how his spiritual empathy with the natural world helped to create the detail in his drawings which “appeared to draw themselves”, and shares his concerns about the human activities that continue to destroy the natural world.

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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: