Who do we think we are? Rory Harding

We ask all the Urban Tree Festival contributors to tell us about themselves and the events they are running. This is the first 2019 profile in our ongoing series.

Meet Rory Harding, urban gardener, rewilder, educator, National Park City Maker, and expedition leader. This is his story…

Root ball explanation
Rootmaster: Rory explains the intricacies of a young trees’ root ball

As an urban greener, I see potential for more wildlife and more trees everywhere I turn. I’m a city gardener, outdoor educator, National Park City Maker, expedition leader and rewilder. Ultimately through everything I do, I’m trying to soak up the world around me, and squeeze it out in better shape.

Q. What are you doing towards bringing the Urban Tree Festival to fruition?

I’m newly on board for the Urban Tree Festival 2019, and I’m helping to engage those on the front line of caring for urban trees, the city’s Tree Officers, who often don’t get to share their story to the wider public. I’m also hoping to inspire the next generation, ‘Generation Tree’ to take an active role in Festival. (caveat, can we yet use the term ‘generation tree’ without consulting TfC about this?)

Q. Why are you supporting the Urban Tree Festival?

I see this festival as a great chance to annually celebrate urban trees and the people working all over the UK to make sure we keep them. It’s also a great chance for people to find out more, and become inspired by looking at our urban trees differently.

Q. Why are urban trees important to you?

Trees are Life givers, and in my previous job working directly with urban trees, I became in awe of just what they do for us specifically in a crowded city. Now I can’t get enough, every time I see a thriving city tree, I can’t not crack a smile.

Q. What events would you like to see included in the Urban Tree Festival?

I would like to see a workshop celebrating the trees simply for their beauty, not just their scientific value or the ecosystem services they provide. I am thinking some sort of Tree Portrait painting class, where people come together to capture the unique spirit of an urban tree through art.


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