Our June 2023 update is now out - read it here!
Critical Discussion Lab – ‘art’ - July 2022
The “art” critical discussion lab provided a useful space to think about the work of artists within academic projects and what art can do. Steve Pool began by introducing some key concepts and ideas within artistic traditions in the West, and also an account of how artists work relationally within communities. Jo Vergunst helped expand this by describing how artists, working with academics, can open up new ways of knowing and seeing. Artists are certainly not there to illustrate a research idea or curate a set of images, but can work relationally to disturb, think, co-create and imagine the world differently. Finally, Amy Dozier articulated very clearly how visual approaches helped the impact of the work she was doing as an ecologists. We were then invited to ‘start with a tree’ in small groups. In our group we shared understandings of art both as process and product and explored the ways we had experienced trees both through images, texts and within our selves.
Thanks to Peter Kraftl, Steve Pool, Jo Vergunst and Amy Dozier.
The Treescapes 'Voices of the Future' Strategy Group
The Treescapes Strategy group met on Tuesday. We were joined by Clive Potter (UK Treescapes programme), Jan White from (Early Childhood Outdoors), Susannah Gill (Mersey Forest), Cheryl Willis (Natural England), Pete Stringer, (Manchester City of Trees) and Lisa-Maria Muller (Chartered College of Teachers) and representatives from the wider project team. It was fantastic to see everyone in-person and there was a real buzz in the room for our first face-to-face strategy meeting.
We were really grateful to Chris Hanley, David Cooper, Abi Hackett and Peter Lawrence for sharing their research and Peter Kraftl for helping us think about impact.
At the meeting it was clear that face to face conversations produce different kinds of thinking and knowledge and we want to make these meetings more dialogic in future.
Samyia Ambreen represents Voices of the Future at Seminar “More than-Human Placemaking: from Place-Making to Kin-Making”
The seminar was hosted by Business Transformations: Transforming Places Knowledge Platform in the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University. The seminar was attended by researchers across the university and community partners exploring place from a relational and posthuman perspective. Representing WP3.3 of the project, Samyia, talked about “children’s placemaking of the school field”.
Race, Migration and Identity discussion
Thanks to Clare Rishbeth for an excellent session on race, migration and identity. We talked about intergenerational learning and ways of knowing. These sessions are proving really useful for our thinking together.
Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy
Khawla represented the Voices of the Future project at a consultation event on the Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy. The event was organised by the Foundation of Educational Development (FED), in association with the DfE and hosted at St George’s House. Khawla explored ways in which our project can inform educational policies, practices, and the curriculum.
Westminster Education Forum policy
Khawla will also attend a Westminster Education Forum policy conference on the 18th May on ‘sustainability and action on climate change in the curriculum, outdoor learning, and priorities for further study and skills’. An update on the conference and how it feeds into the project will be circulated shortly after the event.
WP2 - Project update
Peter Lawrence has been in discussion with Greater Manchester combined authority to discover wooded areas of interest to them from a valuation perspective. He has been out investigating some of the sites and found them to be quite wild and unattended which was interesting.
Peter has had meetings with fellow treescapes grants and discovered an excellent data platform for public engagement regarding carbon called Treezilla. Peter would like to encourage all workpackages to download the treezilla app, and instruction pdfs. Using the treezilla app will enable Peter to visit study sites and/or specific trees with little to no hassle. It can be used to create early baselines in carbon value before laser scanning and lab work begins.
Peter has also be heavily involved in preparation for the Seymour park event on the 17th May, developing pre-meeting activities for the students, colourings exercises based in the latest science and beginning the process of collecting.
University of Cumbria have taken receipt of the terrestrial laser scanner that will be used for calculating the volume/size of trees above aground. Peter has set this up to operate though laptop and iPad ready for public engagement and survey. Peter will be conducting some trial runs over the next 2 months and again would like to suggest this would be a good opportunity for work-packages to suggest and/or call for specific parks/woods and trees matching sociological needs/interest to be highlighted.
Peter has also met with Ben Edwards of MMU to discuss the use/hire/procurement of what is known as a GPR (ground penetrating radar). Ben has confirmed his interest in providing survey support and grant writing support though unfortunately the specific equipment needed is not available at present. The GPR would emulate the above around laser scanner technology but create a detailed module of roots. Although not specifically written into the grant proposal GPR marks a good opportunity. If you wish to join the grant application team (few pages) please again seek contact with Lorna and Peter who will build a writing the around our proposal.
WP3 - Project update
Khawla, Peter Lawrence, Jenny and Samyia will visit Seymour Park Primary School on the 17th of May. We will be working with the Year 3 researchers to take part in a tree survey activity in Seymour Park. The aim of the activity is to introduce the children to the science of estimating carbon storage in trees. The children will be collecting genuinely important data using the latest science for carbon in trees. Currently, only about 800 trees in all of Greater Manchester have been measured. Through this activity, the Year 3 researchers can actively contribute to what we understand about tree value in Manchester and these measurements will be visible and shared with the world through a citizen science platform called Treezilla (https://treezilla.org/) to raise awareness about the importance of urban trees.
The activity entails measuring trees’ height and diameter from 1.37 meter above the ground. These details along with information about tree species will be used to estimate how much carbon is stored in these trees. This estimation uses the same mathematical formulae used by major forest agencies.
Following the activity, we will input these measurements on the platform and the Year 3 researchers can show their parents and carers the trees they measured and their carbon storage value per year. We hope to share some photos from the 17th May in the next newsletter.
The next of our seminar sessions will be led by Dr. Kimberly A. Powell, Curriculum & Instruction; and School of Visual Arts, Pennsylvania State University, discussing her narrative walking research project, ‘StoryWalks’.
The next Seminar has been postponed from the 12th May and will be rescheduled in the next few months.
• 14th July 2022, 12:00 to 13:00
This CPD event for teachers has been postponed to Monday 4th July 2022. The eventbrite link has been updated for registrations and further information about the follow-up workshops will be circulated nearer the time.
Tree of the week
This week our tree is submitted by Kate Pahl - an old pollard left over from when hedges were pollarded.