Trees have been with us throughout our whole lives and hold the power to make all our lives better. If a tree has power, a forest has even more…

Recently the environment and sustainability have become more important to us than ever and with this community project, Maxine Hart, Teacher of Art, hoped to raise awareness of this issue.

Students from 20 local schools became part of a forest of creativity as they contributed to an inspiring and uplifting collaborative art exhibition. Pupils were invited to decorate 3D tree templates, with the resulting styles, materials and colours showing true diversity and imagination.

The exhibition was open from 12 – 16 March at the College. On Saturday 16 March we were delighted to welcome Dr Lauren Baker of Oxford University Botanic Gardens and Harcourt Arboretum.

Dr Baker masterfully covered a range of environmental, historical, biological and social issues using just one of the many thousands of species of trees as an example: Ginko bilboa. Males of this ancient gymnosperm, which predates the dinosaurs, can be found growing in Radley. Perhaps her most poignant anecdote was that eight of these trees were the only things to survive the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, and seedlings from those very trees are currently being grown in Oxford’s Botanic Gardens.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Forest, which built on the success of 2021’s House + Home project when over a thousand houses were decorated by children from eight local schools and exhibited at St Ethelwold’s House, Abingdon and the Sewell Centre Gallery.

Photos of Forest are available here.