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Valuing Treescapes: a free MEMBRA conference hosted in Exeter

July 16 - July 18

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MEMBRA are delighted to invite you to attend the Valuing Treescapes Conference that is hosted at the University of Exeter on July 16-18 2024.

This event will consider how a ‘rights of nature’ approach to existing and new treescapes could inform their protection and further development in the UK. Outputs from this event will include a co-written report on language, ethics, and narratives that can challenge, and provide alternative models for, the utilitarian, monetised valuation of trees in the ‘ecosystem services’ framework.

This event will explore the additional dimensions of ‘value’ to treescapes, and foreground the importance of language in tree description and depiction during policy recommendations on the future of treescapes.

This event will bring together a wide range of stakeholders who will attempt to define the value of Treescapes. These include scientists, artists, lawyers and classicists.

We invite 80 participates to join us for the meeting in Exeter!


Draft Meeting schedule:

DAY 1: Tuesday July 16th

 Delegates arrive AFTER lunch.

 2:00pm-2.15pm Welcome and Introduction (David Wallace-Hare and Katharine Earnshaw)

2.15pm-3.45pm Session 1: Observing Tree Behaviours: Learning with Trees

Moderator: TBC

2.15pm- 2:45pm:        Estrella Luna Diaz (University of Birmingham): Immunological responses and priming

2.45pm – 3.05pm:       Joe He (University of Birmingham): MEMBRA epigenetic learning

3.05pm – 3.25pm:       Bruno Cintra (University of Birmingham): Ecological outputs from MEMBRA

3.25pm – 3.45pm:       Alison Tidy (University of Nottingham): Exploring Priming in Elder for increased tolerance and establishment

3.45pm- 4.15pm:        Tea Break

4.15pm- 5.15pm:        Performance presentation reflecting on MEMBRA from Walking Forest

Q and A

 Free Evening


Day 2: Wednesday July 17th


7.30am – 8.30am Invitation for ‘Running with Trees’ – Anne-Marie Culhane, The Walking Forest and Tim Lenton

A 5km run that tells the Story of Trees, Breath and Climate Change

 9.30am – 11.00am Session 2: Tree Agency and the Law (Short Introductions and Panel Discussion)

 Moderator: Lucy Neal

  1. Lucy Neal Introduction to and Reflections from the Ring of Truth: Walking Forest
  2. Sarah Dodd (Lawyer and owner of Tree Law; environmental protection lawyer focused on trees) https://www.treelaw.co.uk
    3. Charles Mynors (specialist in tree and hedge law) – Law Commission of England and Wales
    4. Elizabeth Nicholls, Barrister, Mediator and Arbitrator

Each speaker provides a 5-minute Introduction followed by general Q+A

11.00am – 11.30am:   Break

11.30am – 11.50am    Jasper Kenter (Aberystwyth University): Values of Nature – Introducing the new IPBES typology and Life Framework

11.50am – 12.30pm    Reflection activity on the Rights of Trees

Facilitated by Walking Forest

Q and A

12.30pm – 1.30pm      Lunch

 1.30pm – 3.15pm  Session 3: Planting Trees for Trees: Design Best Practices

 Moderator: Geraint Parry

1.30pm – 2.00pm        Nadina Galle, https://www.nadinagalle.com/ The Nature of Our Cities: Harnessing the Power of the Natural World to Survive a Changing Planet (Online).

2.00pm – 2.20pm        Gary Grant, Green Infrastructure Consultancy Ltd

2.20pm – 2.40pm        David Wallace-Hare (University of Exeter): Industry Pipelines for Tree Learning Implementation, marketing tree planting in the UK

2.40pm- 3.00pm         The Walking Forest: Introducing the MEMBRA Tree Nursery and Intentional Woodland

3.00pm –                       Break

 4.00pm – 5.30 pm    Concurrent Activities


Tree Tour around the Exeter Campus with the Ancient and Veteran Tree Forum. Led by Jill Butler and the Walking Forest


Stress responses in trees and humans participatory making session with MEMBRA scientists and Walking Forest – Shelley Castle, Rosa Sanchez-Lucas

Ring of Truth – creating a ‘kit’ for participatory use [art/law/science] The Walking Forest

6.00pm – 7.00pm:   Evening Keynote and Q+A

John Parker, CEO Arboricultural Association


7.00pm – Late Hot buffet with drinks

8.00pm            Cycles: Performance Presentation by Walking Forest and MEMBRA scientists

8.30pm            Introduction and Gameplay of MEMBRA Board Game

Day 3: Thursday July 18th

 8.30am – 9.00am        MEMBRA Yoga Tree Salutation Designed by MEMBRA scientists and Walking Forest

10.00am – 12.00pm Session 4: Future of Treescapes

 Moderator: David Wallace-Hare

10.00am – 10.30am    Contribution from Tim Lenton (University of Exeter)

10.30am- 10.50am     Sir Harry Studholme (Perridge Estate) Rooting the Future Forest

10.50am – 11.10am    Alison Dyke (University of York) and Michael Wilson (Loughborough University) Rights of Nature in Practice: Storytelling in the Branching Out project.

 11.10am – 11.30am    Andrew Weatherall (RSPB) Towards Statutory Protection for Ancient Woodlands (TBC)

11.30am – 1145am     Closing moment  – Naming our collective Stewardship /Guardianship – Facilitated by Walking Forest

11.45am –                    Final comments: Katharine Earnshaw and David Wallace-Hare.

LUNCH and Travel Home

The Registration page is now OPEN!

The event has capacity for 80 delegates to attend the meeting for FREE.

The meeting venue is the Xfi Centre for Finance, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4ST

Please apply to attend the meeting here ->


The registration deadline is Friday June 14th. We will reply to potential delegates who have already registered in Mid-May.
Travel and accommodation will need to be booked independently but we have secured special rates at Holland Hall on the University of Exeter campus. On the application form please let us know if you would like more information about this accommodation option.

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July 16
July 18


University of Exeter


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