Tree Story: A History of Liverpool Through its Trees

dot-art have partnered with Open Eye Gallery to develop Tree Story: A History of Liverpool Through its Trees. This project is made possible through a £70,000 grant awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Today, dot-art have partnered with Open Eye Gallery and the Mersey Forest, to work on an exciting heritage project, Tree Story: A History of Liverpool Through its Trees. This project has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £70,822  made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.

The project will engage schools, community groups and the general public across the Liverpool City Region over the next 18 months, exploring natural heritage by investigating, documenting and celebrating locally and personally significant trees, as well as planting new ones.

Four schools will work with a photographer Andy Yates to creatively investigate local trees: when they were planted, how their surroundings have changed over time, the biodiversity they support, folklore and their cultural significance. Pupils will also spend time at Formby Woods enjoying a forest school taster day. The photography and creative work they have made will be shared within school, with the public at LOOK Photo Biennial and on a newly created website. Each school will plant new trees with the support of Mersey Forest, learning about how to choose an appropriate tree for its environment, and how to care for it as it grows.

Four community groups with an interest in horticulture, the environment and the wellbeing benefits of nature will also take part in the project, targeting activity at people facing physical and mental health issues. They will join photography sessions and their work will be shown online and at LOOK Photo Biennial. At the end of the project they will plant – and commit to the care of – new trees.

The public will be invited to celebrate trees that are significant to them, pinning images and stories to a specially commissioned interactive online map, hosted on a new web platform that will also show a timeline history of Liverpool City Region and its trees. The web platform will provide a resource for teachers and community groups across the region, with creative ideas and links to archive material as well as information about trees, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Commenting on the award, Sarah Fisher of Open Eye Gallery said: “We are so grateful to National Lottery players for enabling so many local people to celebrate their natural heritage. As a result of the project, we hope people will feel more connected to their environment and recognise the importance of local trees.”

David Renwick, Director of England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Through our conversations with National Lottery players, we know that nature is incredibly important to them, and the funding for ‘Tree Story’ means that they can play their part in celebrating the significant and varied wildlife that the North of England is home to. At the Heritage Fund, we’re incredibly proud to be playing a role in ensuring our natural heritage is safeguarded for generations to come, but also that the projects we fund give people the chance to connect with the nature and wildlife that is on their doorsteps.”

This project is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players.