The Last Tree Dreaming

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Last Tree Dreaming Project – supported by Heritage Lottery Fund


This 250 year old, 20 tonne, 80 foot tall Oak tree fell just below here in Turner’s Paddock in late January 2013.  Discovering that it had featured in a painting by Turner when it was 30 years old, local artist Barry Cooper began to conceive of a heritage project involving young people, which would connect this tree with the once mighty Selwood Forest, recorded in 894 as covering the whole area from Stourhead to Frome and spanning the Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset borders. All that now remains of Selwood Forest is fragments and place names around Frome.  Hence the project title Last Tree Dreaming….

“Frome Community College along with many other state funded schools has suffered significant cuts to its budget. This award will offer those students areas of knowledge outside the standard curriculum, providing a broader context to the valuable process of education.”

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said:

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re pleased to announce our support for this project through our Young Roots programme. Young people are the future custodians of our natural heritage, so it’s wonderful to see them have the opportunity to connect the oak tree and its own historic significance with the personal skills and stories it has helped to inspire.”

The project aims to engage over 600 young people and will encompass learning in a wide range of subjects, including: ecology, local history, landscape gardening, civil and timber engineering, painting, drawing, sculpture, poetry and film-making.  The young people involved will also get the opportunity to develop skills in woodcarving, bushcraft, curating an art exhibition, collecting oral histories, conservation and archiving. And there will be an opportunity to visit the Turner Collection in Tate Modern, London.


The project is coordinated by Azeema Caffoor from Young People Frome and Barry Cooper. The students will also work with wood sculptor, Anthony Rogers, and eco-poet and Forest Schools leader, Helen Moore, as well as other people with specific skills in National Trust Stourhead, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Selwood Living Landscape Project, Tate Modern, Bath University, and Frome’s multi-talented community.

There are also opportunities for adult volunteers, especially those with an interest in the history of Selwood Forest, to support the project.  For more information, please contact Azeema at [email protected]  Young people can visit: or check out the facebook page Last Tree Dreaming