Tree art and Education - collaboration with Holyrood High school

Cavalry Park is one of the many areas suffering tree vandalism.  Most recently a 260 year old landmark Beech tree had to be cut down after repeated fires weakened the base.  The fires are now spreading to other trees including an ancient sweet chestnut (circa 350 years old).  School jotters have been a regular fuel and the local park friends group would like to liaise with the local schoool on a project to both educate and engage on the local history involving these trees (which overlook an area where jacobite troops are said to have camped) , but also on the ongoing natural and envrionmnetal benefits mature trees provide.  An artists commission to use the now felled tree as a medium for providing info and also involving school kids in the developement of what is ultimately displayed is what has been proposed.  However despoite supportive inolvement of local councillors and council officers, the request for engagement with nearby Holyrood school has been rejected till some unspecified time down the line.  Feels like the idea has just been kicked into the long grass by the school and may not now progress.  I am not clear why. This learning opportunity, along with the funding and support offered from the local community were things I thought a school would these days be keen to embrace.  But perhaps there are issues I am not aware of?  Posting here in the hope that any teachers or education authority staff with knowledge of the problems this might create for a school can advise....what would be needed to engage the school and make this work?

Why the contribution is important

To Educate and engage local kids on the environemental and ecological benefits only mature trees can provide.

by Martin_at_edin_east on November 25, 2020 at 10:49AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.0
Based on: 1 vote


  • Posted by Centaur77 November 26, 2020 at 06:33

    A link to more information would have been useful.
  • Posted by ruthprince December 21, 2020 at 14:31

    I think the school's lack of engagement may well be connected to the pandemic. Currently the only people allowed in schools or to engage with schools in any outdoor space are staff embedded in the school. No third party providers can work with the school until Edinburgh moves into Tier 2. I would suggest approaching the school again when our tiers change.
  • Posted by Martin_at_edin_east December 21, 2020 at 17:26

    Hi Ruth
    am hoping so. Feels like an idea with lots t has a lot of potential. My disappointment though was that they weren't willing to get the idea phase going. you don't need to meet face to face to issue a commission and start the ball rolling for creatives to generate ideas . Would have meant we were further along the road once covid has passed and if we then wanted to take it further.

    There was an earlier comment asking for specifics. I actually didn't want to pollute things with my ideas. Wanted to leave that to the creatives. But there are some amazing examples out there. Checkout the work of Simon O'Rourke a tree carver who shaped the largest tree in Wales into a giant hand when it was damaged by storms:

    I could go on with these examples - there are so many options! But the ones that excite me most are those where the kids get involved in the process producing temporary works that get replaced each year by the next intake. Feels like a great way to take a one-off negative and turn it into a regular and repeatable positive.....

    I know the practicalities of running this are going to be challenging but I am a bit disappointed the school haven't been more enthusiastic. Seems a shame...but I remain ever hopeful and will do as you suggest Ruth. Thanks for your comment. :)
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