Evolving the Forest

June 19-21 2019





Evolving the Forest 

June 19-21 2019 • Dartington Hall, Devon, England

the 2019 Annual Conference of the Royal Forestry Society
an art.earth™ Creative Summit

@evolvingforest | #forest100 #evolvingforest

A three-day international gathering bringing together creative thinkers and doers to explore the forest and how we live with trees. Evolving the Forest is convened by art.earth, the Royal Forestry Society and Timber Strategies.


Preliminary info & save the date

Preliminary info & save the date

For 2019 art.earth joins forces with the Royal Forestry Society and Timber Strategies to bring together the sharpest and most ... Read More
Call for Participation

Call for Participation

Call for Participation We welcome proposals from all disciplines responding broadly to our themes although these are intended to be ... Read More

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”  — Herman Hesse

“…ecstasy swept over me as I heard my first blackbird singing” — Dorothy Elmhirst

They are the stuff of myth and fairy tale and fear and  power. We revere them for their age and beauty. We use them, climb them, , carve them, preserve them. We plant them. We grow them to build houses and make furniture. We bring them into our houses in celebration of festivals whose historic roots we have long forgotten, Poets write about them as they have done for centuries. For many, they are home.

Trees are perhaps the most ubiquitous objects in our lives. Despite the fact that some countries – like our own – are largely denuded of ancient forest, we still feel a powerful tug of something primitive as we look on a vast oak or a towering fir. We love the roll call of names even if many could not identify or perhaps have never seen their namesake.

Oak. Ash. Hawthorn. Holly. Alder. Beech. Birch. Elm. Hazel. Maple. Sycamore. Rowan. Yew.

This three-day symposium draws together a wide variety of voices to explore a heritage of woodland and forest and look to their future. In celbration of the Forestry Commission’s centenary it looks back at the last 100 years and looks forward to the next.  We draw on the wisdom of foresters, environmental managers, policy-makers, scientists and other experts; we hear the voices of artists, designers, writers, philosophers and others who wander and wonder in our varied British forests; and we learn from others around the world about their own cultural connections to trees, and the wood that produces some of the world’s most beautiful objects.

This symposium incorporates the annual conference of the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) and is their primary contribution to marking the Forestry Commission’s centenary. The event is produced by art.earth, renowned for their re-invention of the academic conference into something inclusive, collaborative, friendly, experiential and tactile.

There are nine broad themes:

  • Our historic relationship with trees and woodland
  • Landscape and the sublime forest
  • Land use, agroforestry and new approaches to cropping
  • Trees and woodland in society and as a source of health and wellbeing
  • Woodland habitat as a home to many
  • Artistic and literary responses
  • Climate change impacts
  • Wood as a material / contemporary timber-based design
  • How we live with trees, ethical approaches, and questions of sentience 


Evolving the Forest takes place on the Dartington Hall estate with the support of the Dartington Hall Trust.  The estate has a rich history of forestry and woodland planning over the past 100 years in parallel with the Forestry Commission but with divergent paths of public and private sector imperatives and so provides a thought-provoking setting for contemplating the past and future of UK forestry.

The event convenes at Dartington Hall (TQ9 6EL) mid-afternoon on June 19 2019, and ends around 16.00 on June 21. In addition to the main programme we will be offering a day-long ‘Future Forest’ workshop, and on the first evening, a gala celebration of 100 years of the Forestry Commission led by  Forestry Commission Chair, Sir Harry Studholme, an exhibition and other special events.

Read the call for participation (deadline November 19 2018)


Key Dates

Deadline for proposals: 19 November 2018 (22.00 GMT) [SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL]
Registration opens: 15 December 2018
Programme announced: 19 December 2018
Early Bird Registration closes: 19 February 2019




Bedwr Williams at RAMM - Bedwr Williams will talk about his new commission for Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum, produced and curated by art.earth... Read more at artdotearth.org/?p=2… @ccanw pic.twitter.com/XIsl…

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Royal Forestry Society

ESC4: Put in your location and site conditions and this Forest Research toolkit will suggest which potential conifer and broadleaved species might be suitable to plant. Can be adjusted for different climate change scenarios ow.ly/7F3I30ltBiH

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