133 episodes

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/
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Trees A Crowd David Oakes

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 113 Ratings

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/
Why not become a "Subscription Squirrel" on our Patreon, and help support the production of this podcast?
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    The Horstmann Trust: Vultures in the Valleys!

    The Horstmann Trust: Vultures in the Valleys!

    The Horstmann Trust is a brand new charity primarily focused upon breeding and ultimately releasing back into the wild four species of endangered vultures: the Bearded, Egyptian and Hooded Vultures, as well as the Andean Condor. But what makes the Horstmann Trust particularly interesting, is that these birds are Welsh Vultures! In this episode, David heads to Wales to meet Holly Cale & Adam Bloch, the custodians of around 70 birds which were previously the private collection of a brilliantly eccentric Carmarthenshire-based German Hotelier called Manfred Horstmann. This is a meaty discussion. As well as dissecting the realities underpinning a successful breeding programme, it is one that explores the Vulture’s complicated relationship with Humans. From Vultures being worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians, and enabling Sky Burials in India (where our dead are not buried or cremated, rather taken, bite by bite, back into the air), to wiping out 99.9% of Southern Asian vultures though the veterinary use of anti-inflammatory drugs, or through ritualistic superstitions that require the dismemberment and smoking of Vulture brains in order to see into the future. And if that isn’t enough, this is a podcast about birds vomiting and pissing on their legs - what’s not to love?!
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Andy & Peter Holden: A Filial History of Nest Building

    Andy & Peter Holden: A Filial History of Nest Building

    At the launch of his latest video installation at the Tate St Ives, artist Andy Holden meets with David Oakes to discuss the creativity present within the bird world. But, whilst exploring avian aesthetics, Andy's artwork - "A Natural History of Nest Building" - also explores the roles of nature versus nurture at an additional level. This exhibition, one exploring how and why Birds learn to create nest structures, is created by a father and son team; the son an artist, and the father a famous ornithologist. Which begs question: was this film, one about creating homes, nurturing eggs, and fledging one’s young, really just about birds? In this ornithological deep dive, Andy and Peter Holden discuss approaching a shared passion from opposite directions. You'll hear about the super-stimulus associated with the gaping beak of the infanticide-committing cuckoo, the individual spin that different birds of the same species place upon their own personal nests, and the complicated legacy of the mysterious egg-stealing Jordain Society.
    Andy Holden is a multi-faceted artist who has exhibited at the Tate Britain, has had music aired on BBC 6 Music, and has created everything from human-sized bower-bird bowers, to enormous knitted rocks based upon a piece of pyramid which he stole as a boy. His father, Peter Holden MBE, worked for the RSPB for almost 40 years to boost their youth engagement. He was most notably instrumental in developing their “Big Garden Birdwatch” - the UK’s first 'citizen science' project, which has been running now for 45 years, and counted around 190 million birds.
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    • 55 min
    Dr David Hetherington: Reintroducing the Lynx lynx lynx to our Cairngorms (a cat so enigmatic that they named it thrice!)

    Dr David Hetherington: Reintroducing the Lynx lynx lynx to our Cairngorms (a cat so enigmatic that they named it thrice!)

    Dr David Hetherington is an expert on the Eurasian Lynx and the beneficial links Lynx (Lynx lynx lynx) can manifest within our complicated British ecosystems. What he doesn’t know about the Lynx’s rich history across Europe is not worth knowing: Hear why Hildegard von Bingen thought drinking Lynx urine was highly beneficial; when exactly(ish) Lynx were wiped from British shores leaving only one town name with any form of association to a once indigenous species, and; how the Nazis could be considered the twentieth century’s first big-mammal “re-wilders”. But, most importantly, David answers the big question: does Britain have enough well connected forest habitat to safely support a large mobile forest-dependent species? Specialising in species reintroduction programmes, David managed the Cairngorms Wildcat Project and actively encouraged a positive relationship with gamekeepers to help all parties work for nature conservation without getting “sucked into the vortex of raptor politics”. He also sits on the board of Trees for Life - an award-winning charity that works to enhance the native woodland ecology of the Scottish Highlands. To that end, expect wildcats, red squirrels, pine martens, capercaillies, as well as the animal so cool they named it thrice, Lynx lynx lynx, in this immersive and informative wildlife deep dive.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Dr Ruth Tingay: From Birds in Boxes to Rivers of Raptors; One woman’s mission for Wild Justice against Raptor Persecution

    Dr Ruth Tingay: From Birds in Boxes to Rivers of Raptors; One woman’s mission for Wild Justice against Raptor Persecution

    Dr Ruth Tingay is a conservationist and campaigner who has spent her career primarily focused upon the world’s raptor population (that’s Birds of Prey, rather than Veloci-...) Her career was inadvertently kickstarted through working at Heathrow airport’s Animal Reception Centre. Here she welcomed back the UK’s Red Kite population for their reintroduction to our country, as well as the usual pampered felines, escaped pooches, and boxes stuffed full of mystery birds. Throw Nile Crocodiles, an annual Mexican Hawk Migration of 4.6 million birds and the DNA of Golden Eagles into the mix, and you get an incredibly varied career that has leapfrogged the globe from Mauritius to Mexico then on to Madagascar and many other countries beginning with ‘M’ besides. But since 2009, Ruth has been focused upon the plights of our domestic birds; shedding light upon wildlife crime through her Raptor Persecution blog, and through joining with Mark Avery and Chris Packham to spearhead their Wild Justice which is holding the Governments of Britain to account for ongoing enviro-failings and eco-crimes.
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Katie Holten: The Three Questions

    Katie Holten: The Three Questions

    Hello, and welcome to a little festive bonus Trees A Crowd. Some of the eagle eared amongst you may have noticed that the regular “three final questions” were missing from this month’s interview with the artist and activist, Katie Holten. Well…
    …it’s because they’re here! So, before I hand you over to Katie for an additional stocking filler, I wish you all a glorious Christmas, and a new year tingling with positivity and promise.
    Merry Christmas!
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    • 9 min
    Katie Holten: Hedge Schools, Tree Time and the Language of our Forests

    Katie Holten: Hedge Schools, Tree Time and the Language of our Forests

    Katie Holten is a visual artist and environmental activist who splits her time between Ireland and New York. She has exhibited at the Venice biennale and many galleries across the globe, with her work being described as “…an ongoing investigation of the inextricable relationship between man and the natural world in the age of the Anthropocene.” Recently she created the internationally best-selling book, “The Language of Trees”.
    Reclining in a mossy moot deep within the Woodland Trust’s Duncliffe Woods, Katie shares with David Oakes how her passion for nature stems from two roots: her mother – a gardener, teacher and floral artist – and her father – a man who led Katie to be enthralled by logic and physics and Feynman. Katie is now an artist who prides herself upon collecting the connected and noticing that from chaos sprouts equilibrium. It is perhaps not unsurprising then that she has devoted her artistic career to creating compendiums of things she feel necessary to share, and devoting her personal life to many of the goals of Extinction Rebellion.
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    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
113 Ratings

113 Ratings

rosathemongoose ,

Wonderful podcast

Fascinating, entertaining conversations on all things nature. I have learnt so much from this podcast and would thoroughly recommend it. :)

ArtistWright ,

Mezzotint moths

Wonderfully engaging and illuminating conversation….to hear about Sarah’s creative journey in such detail and how it ultimately led her to make these astonishing mezzotints is truly inspirational. She is an extraordinary artist. 🖤

LunaLovegood289 ,

I can’t believe we’re at tree 56!!

This series of Trees A Crowd has been my absolute favourite and has made a plant obsessive out of me!
Getting to learn all of the different native trees of the British isles has been fantastic- and the description given to them has not only made me want to know and explore more, but also been able to identify them as I’m out and about, which really excited me! Definitely listen to it - it’s fascinating and well worth your time!!

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