3.4. Feeling our Way in UK Treescapes

The aim is to understand (non)belonging with/in urban treescapes among young people who migrated to the UK as separated asylum seekers, and to apply this knowledge in the pursuit of future treescapes that are inclusive and hopeful. Addressing the tension between the value of treescapes for supporting the integration of migrant-background young people and the multiple barriers to their access and inclusion within them, this sub-WP asks:

  1. How do young people from asylum-seeking backgrounds feel about and in their local treescapes?
  2. What are the ecological, embodied, affective, practical, sociocultural, historical, and ethical relations that mediate these feelings?
  3. How can fostering a relationship between urban treescapes and these young people support the belonging of both? And what are the barriers?


This project employs an innovative more-than-human sensory ethnography approach that facilitates the exploration of (non)belongings of both people and trees, and of the materiality of their relations. Youth co-researchers will visit treescapes across Greater Manchester and Northern England, to generate data relating to human and non-human (non)belonging. Methods will be co-designed with youth co-researchers but may include: photography, video, audio-recording, and walking interviews. Co-I Rowntree, the tree-twinning team, and Manchester City of Trees (MCT) will act as ‘interpreters’, supporting CYP-researchers to ‘listen’ to trees in order to generate new scientific and ethnographic data, including through 3D mapping and acoustic monitoring.



Creative works representing young people’s relations with trees, encouraging a more inclusive politics of belonging in urban treescapes.
A treescape to be designed and planted by youth co-researchers, utilising findings to create the material conditions for hopeful belongings for young people and trees.
A resource co-developed with youth researchers to support access to, engagement in and benefits of treescapes for young people from asylum seeking and other migrant backgrounds.
More information

Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS)

Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS)