Intentional Forest 2028

Emmeline Pankhurst, Annie Kenney and Mrs Blathwayt - Bath In Time

“The future must enter into you a long time before it happens.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Walking Forest is a 10 year artwork that culminates in planting a new intentional woodland by 2028 to mark the connection between women, activism and trees.

What do we mean by intentional?

The Suffragette Arboretum planted over 100 years ago, honoured the courage and activism of 60 Suffragettes. They were in the midst of their long campaign when each of these women broke the ground with spades and heeled in the roots of each tree, not knowing whether they would see the trees reach maturity or whether their actions would succeed. We read this as a symbolic act recognising the importance of collective action across difference and of active hope for an unknown and unknowable future.

Oak Saplings at Moor Trees
Planting a Tree - photo by Ruth Levene

Inspired by this long-term vision which expands our time frames beyond those of a human lifetime, and keeping the well being of future generations in mind, Walking Forest intends to collect and propagate seeds now, inviting participants and activists to nurture them into saplings which will be planted in a forest. We call this an intentional forest because it will be a place to honour those working around the world to bring about the vital environmental and social changes needed.

By 2028 we imagine a young forest which in decades to come will give space for hope, encouragement, beauty and resilience for future generations. We imagine a restorative place of repair to learn about standing up together for that which needs fighting for; a place of refuge; an arboreal glade of activism to inspire current and future generations with courage, care and fortitude. This is a plan that is still emerging. Almost every seed holds its own story, like the seeds of Rose Lamartine Yates’s tree.

We’re exploring partners with land for tree planting to work with to achieve this: Trees for Cities, Forestry England, the Woodland Trust, Cataran Commonwealth, Moor Trees. Please contact us if you have ideas for a location, would like to work with us, or would like to contribute funds towards the intentional woodland.

Stonehouse Seedstore