26 August 2011
Thinking of a tree or woodland that we remember fondly is not difficult for most of us. Often these memories will be from childhood. I grew up in London and was fortunate to have Wandsworth Common on my doorstep and regularly visited other woods that excited my imagination in all sorts of ways. Collecting conkers, acorns and sweet chestnuts in Richmond Park is still a vivid memory. Spotting the shiny brown nuts was like finding treasure.
A new campaign by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – forgotten forests – is tapping these memories and encouraging people to share their personal favourite forests via images, videos and thoughts using popular social media channels: Flickr, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. The aim is to raise awareness of forests during the UN International Year of Forests. The forgotten forests website www.rbge.org.uk/forgottenforests provides a portal to the growing archive of public contributions.
Discovering the forests that are important to other people and the diverse reasons why people are drawn to them is, for me, the exciting thing about forgotten forests. Inspiring images and personal stories are a great way to encourage people to get outdoors and visit their local forests. Who knows, after viewing some of the contributions online you might be inspired to get out a camera or add your thoughts on forests!
By Max Coleman, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
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