Connected Treescapes – Perspectives on connectedness in planning for treescape expansion and enhancement

12:00 – 13:00 pm, 19 March 2024

This seminar will introduce the Connected Treecapes project which is funded by the Future of UK Treescapes programme.

Drawing on our research within the Connected Treescapes project, and our experiences of working with different partner organisations, we will explore the meanings and relevance of connectedness and connectivity in planning and management for resilient treescapes.  In the format of a panel discussion followed by a Question and Answer session, we will explore how connectedness and connectivity are defined and realised in history, ecology, economics, and nature and human wellbeing. We will consider the important positive and negative aspects of connectedness, the balance between benefits and risks of connecting treescapes, and the extent to which human-tree connections of the past influence the treescape relationships of the present. We will ask how different disciplinary concepts around connectedness can come together to help inform the design and management of treescapes, and consider how decision-makers should integrate principles of connectedness as they seek to meet the challenges of managing and expanding resilient treescapes in the face of rapidly changing current and future conditions.


Michael Pocock (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) – Michael is the academic lead for Public Engagement with Research at UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. He is an ecologist interested in the interactions of nature, people and data, especially researching biodiversity change through ‘citizen science’. He has undertaken research on a wide range of drivers of biodiversity change, with particular focus on land use change in the UK, agricultural intensification and urbanisation. This includes the impact of light pollution on invertebrates, and impacts on pollinators and natural pest controllers. Michael is a former Director of the Citizen Science Association (now Association for the Advancement of Participatory Sciences) and a Co-Investigator on the Connected Treescapes project.

Miles Richardson (University of Derby) – Miles is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Ergonomist and Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness at the University of Derby. He founded the award-winning Nature Connectedness Research Group which aims to understand and improve connection with nature to unite both human and nature’s wellbeing. Miles is also the creator of the award winning ‘biodiversity stripes’. His 2023 book Reconnection: Fixing our Broken Relationship with Nature was a Spectator magazine ‘book of the year’. He is a Co-Investigator on the Connected Treescapes project, in which he leads the human health and wellbeing work.

Annie Tindley (Newcastle University) – Annie is a Professor of British and Irish Rural History at Newcastle University. She is a historian of rural Britain and Ireland from c. 1750 to the present, with interests in landscape and environmental histories, land use and management practices and the politics of land. She is committed to co-design and co-production of research with communities of place and interest on how History can inform current and future thinking on land issues. Annie is a Co-Investigator on the Connected Treescapes project, in which she leads the Histories and Cultures work strand.

Julia Touza (University of York) – Julia is a Reader in Environmental Economics at the University of York, where she co-leads the Resilient Ecosystems theme at the York Environmental Sustainability Institute. She is an environmental and natural resource economist whose research focuses on understanding how human behaviour and economic activity influence the natural environment and what this means in terms of crafting environmental policy and management. Julia also conducts ecological-economic modelling of private and public strategies for the conservation of biodiversity, vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards, and the anthropogenic effects on the spread of plant pests and diseases, and invasive species. She is the co-Principal investigator of the Connected Treescapes Project.

Piran White (University of York) – Piran is a Professor of Environmental Management at the University of York. He is an interdisciplinary ecosystem scientist. His research includes work on biodiversity and ecosystem services, wildlife ecology and management, the role of nature in supporting human wellbeing, and the interactions between wildlife, livestock and human health. Piran is the co-Principal Investigator of the Connected Treescapes project.