RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 416/PRO/4
Extent51 magazine files, 28 box files, 16 ring binders, 7 lever arch files, 10 boxes, 5 filing cabinet drawers
TitleTrees, Woods and the Green Man
DescriptionCommon Ground started work on the Trees, Woods and the Green Man project in 1986. The aim of the project was to raise awareness of 'the importance of trees by exploring their aesthetic, spiritual and cultural value as well as their ecological importance ('Trees be Company', p. xi). Throughout the project, Common Ground commissioned works by sculptors, artists, writers, poets and playwrights to explore themes around trees and woods. In 1989, Common Ground won the Prudential Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts for its work on the Trees, Woods and the Green Man project. Common Ground used the prize of £25,000 to commission further sculptural works, including works by Peter Randall-Page. Common Ground also collaborated with sculptors and artists to produce exhibitions about trees and the arts, including: 'Remembering the Great Storm' in 1988, 'The Tree of Life: New Images of an Ancient Symbol' in 1989, 'Out of the Wood: The Tree as Image and Symbol' in 1989; 'Orchards of the South West' by James Ravilious in 1989, 'Leaves' by Andy Goldsworthy in 1989-1990.

The project also generated new campaigns and initiatives. In response to a hurricane known as the 'Great Storm' of 16 October 1987, which caused widespread devastation in England, Common Ground immediately launched a major campaign for fallen and damaged trees. This included working with artist David Nash to publish free postcards with the idea that 'a fallen tree is not a dead tree', and collaborating with photographer Gary Miller to create a temporary exhibition 'Remembering the Great Storm' at the Natural History Museum in London. To raise awareness of the need to protect local trees, Common Ground launched an initiative to develop a new calendar custom called Tree Dressing Day in 1990. Common Ground encouraged individuals and communities to decorate and celebrate trees in their local area on the first weekend of December each year. The charity published guidance and lists of events, and collected correspondence, reports and photographs of Tree Dressing Day events around the country.

Common Ground produced several publications as part of the Trees, Woods and the Green Man project, including 'Trees Be Company: An Anthology of Poetry' (1989 and 2001), 'In a Nutshell: A manifesto for trees and a guide to growing and protecting them' (1990), and a special edition broadsheet newspaper 'Pulp! with contributions from actors, authors, artists and cartoonists (1989)', as well as a range of leaflets and postcards.

People who worked on this project include: Sue Clifford (Co-Founder and Joint Coordinator of Common Ground), Angela King (Co-Founder and Joint Coordinator of Common Ground), Neil Sinden (Project Manager) and Stephen Turner (Exhibitions/Events Officer).

Material in this section of the archive includes:

- files of assorted material relating to the administration of the Trees, Woods and the Green Man project by Common Ground;

- material relating to the Tree Dressing initiative;

- material relating to Trees, Woods and the Green Man arts initiatives (including artistic commissions, literary commissions, exhibitions, and events), which include papers relating to Common Ground's work with artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and David Nash, amongst others;

- material relating to Trees, Woods and the Green Man publications and promotional material produced by Common Ground, including 'Trees Be Company', 'In a Nutshell', and 'Pulp!;

- press clippings and material relating to publicity of the Trees, Woods and the Green Man project;

- research material, including general research material about trees, reports and publications produced by governmental and environmental bodies, and research material concerning the Great Storm of October 1987;

- and photographic material.
FormatVarious formats
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsPlease note that access to some files is restricted subject to Data Protection legislation. Access may only be provided on a case-by-case basis and upon completion of a Data Protection form.
ArrangementThe files in this section of the archive were originally kept together by Common Ground; however, they have been rearranged into series to reflect the different activities within the project and to provide contextual information for users. The original order within each file has been preserved. Duplicates have been removed and disposed of wherever possible within these files, but three examples of each document have been retained.
Creator_NameCommon Ground; arts and environmental charity (1982-)
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