The Timber takeover

🌳 Timber Festival is taking over The Ecologist today - celebrating the existence, rather than the passing, of a festival affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Can playing football increase tree planting

The Timber Festival began in 2018, so it has only run twice, but for some of us it is already an integral part of our summer calendar. You might feel the same about another festival you go to each year, or a summer season in which you can pick and choose among festivals.

You may not go to festivals, but miss a conference, or some other meeting or event. All of us feel that Covid-19 caused change to summer 2020 in different ways. This collection of articles, thanks to The Ecologist, focusses on one festival, special to some of us, but hopefully reminds you, in a good way, of what you too are missing; what you are looking forward to going to next year.

To make a donation to support the next Timber festival, visit JustGiving.

These articles reflect some of the intellectual feeling of attending Timber, but of course they can’t replicate the emotional and physical sensations: camping out with friends and like-minded strangers, exploring intriguing stalls and stages under the canopy at Feanedock, in the National Forest, in the Midlands. Timber encourages us to 'gather round all nature lovers, daydreamers, big thinkers'.


It is difficult to capture that on the page, but here are articles by; artists, academics, other researchers, directors of the Forest School Association and Wild Rumpus and the chief executives of Action for Conservation, the Lifescape Project and the National Forest Company. Here are some of the things they discuss:

What does a green recovery look like? Why do we need nature? Why is identifying biodiversity important? How do we value nature? What is an eco-centric, rather than a human-centric point of view? How is human health linked to ecosystem degradation, or restoration? Can Audio Augmented Reality help us engage with nature? Can books help you see the forest for the trees? What happens when art and culture meet the natural world?

And even: can playing football increase tree planting?

You will have to read them all to sort the nature lovers from the daydreamers and the big thinkers, but perhaps each of us can be all of them? These discussions would have taken place at Timber 2020, they start on the page now and continue at Timber 2021, come and join in.

Here is a complete list of the articles appearing in the Timber takeover special collection on The Ecologist today:

🌳 Children need nature and nature needs children

🌳 A library to walk into the forest

🌳 Augmented reality forest soundscapes

Can playing football increase tree planting

🌳 Rewilding for human health

🌳 Haiku in the Trees

🌳 Tree identification and biodiversity

🌳 Time for the green recovery

🌳 Valuing nature

🌳 Trees for Goals: Lesein's story

🌳 Art and wonder in green places

These Authors

Andrew Weatherall works at the National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria. Jo Maker is the Timber Festival coordinator, The National Forest Company. They are together the guest editors of this Special Collection in The Ecologist. Sarah Bird is director of Wild Rumpus CIC, a social enterprise producing large scale outdoor arts events, most often in wild natural landscapes. To make a donation to support the next Timber festival, visit JustGiving.

More from this author