The Ring of Truth at TimberFest

MEMBRA participants are currently engaging in a series of Creative Pairings that are bringing together members of the Walking Forest artist group and the MEMBRA scientists. One such partnership has developed The Ring of Truth, a play for which the inaugural performance was made on July 8th at Timberfest.

The Ring of Truth was predicated on a single question:

‘What are the Rights of Trees?’

The play is set in a fictional 2028 at a time in which the ‘Rights of Nature’ have been recently written into UK Law. The performance joins a courtroom in which prosecution is acting on behalf of the ‘The Feanedock Oak‘ (located on the Timbrfest site in The National Forest), which is taking the UK Government to court to protect itself from the prevailing environment of increased carbon dioxide in-part caused by government activities.

Three University of Birmingham scientists, Bruno Cintra, Rachel Mailes and Scott Hayward presented evidence from the perspective of the Oak Tree, its Insect community and the underlying Soil to demonstrate the damage that has been caused by current climate.


 At the end of the performance the MEMBRA scientists lead the procession to The Feanedock Oak

This unique collaborative piece was primarily written by Lucy Neal from the Walking Forest with help the MEMBRA scientists and Paul Powlesland an environmental lawyer who prepared a remarkable skeleton argument that outlined the case submitted on behalf of ‘The Feanedock Oak’.

The play was performed for a lively, engaged audience who considered the presented evidence and made a judgment on the case. It was very welcoming to see that the public jurors agreed with the prosecution and supported the Rights of Nature legislation to protect The Feanedock Oak.

IMG_3547The audience votes to support The Feanedock Oak

This unique collaboration was made possible through Treescapes support for the MEMBRA project, which has brought together artists and scientists to generate this thought-provoking production that will resonant with many people who are interesting in protecting their local environments.

Enormous thanks to everyone involved in the performance, direction and production of the event, especially to Jo Mackie, the producer for the Walking Forest.

Look out for more content to follow but for more information please take a look at the links below ->

Please visit Walking Forest Instagram Feed with videos from the event, curated by Zahrah Vawda.

The Skeleton Argument written by Paul Powlesland is available for download (PDF).


The Company in front of the Feanedock Oak (and an apple tree)