Tree Lady Talks Podcast

The Tree Lady, Sharon Durdant-Hollamby, talks all things trees, nature, outdoor spaces and well-being to fascinating people from all walks of life.

Trees & Design Action Group (TDAG)

The Tree Lady Talks  - - to Sue James,AA Dipl RIBA Chartered Architect about TDAG. Sue James trained at the Architectural Association and worked in private practice in West Wales. In parallel she has provided consultancy services with a focus on the public realm and is a founding member of the Trees and Design Action Group. She has also advised Ecobuild (now Futurebuild) on content for the conference and seminar programme for many years. Click here for the TDAG website  
Sue James AA Dipl RIBA Chartered Architect

Tree Aid

The Tree Lady Talks  - - to Shireen Chambers MBE, Georges Bazongo, & Bell Martin about Tree Aid.

Shireen Chambers MBE

Studied forestry and soil science at Bangor University before embarking on a career overseas, working with the Government of the Bahamas to set up a new forestry department in the 1980s. She returned to the UK to work with the Central Scotland Forest and continued as a practitioner in community and urban forestry throughout the UK. Non-executive board appointments have included Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Forest Research, Forestry Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee for Mid-Scotland (Chair), Edinburgh Green Belt Trust and she was a member of the Independent Panel on Forestry in 2012. Shireen was appointed chair of TREE AID board of trustees in 2017.

Georges Bazongo

Started as the Director of Operations in July 2020 having previously been TREE AID’s Director of West Africa Operations. Georges has more than two decades of experience in national and international organisations like FAO/Ministry of Environment Project, ORGANIC and Self Help Africa. His areas of expertise are sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, agroforestry, land tenure management, crop value chain development and smallholder’s organisational development.

Time to Grow:

Our Impact film:

A solution to the climate crisis:
Awa’s story:

Bell Martin

Cycled the North Coast 500 and is raising a ton of cash for the TREE AID cause - donate and get involved by clicking here to go to the Just Giving donation page!

James Ogilvie BA, MA (Oxon), MSc (Oxon), CEnv, FICFor

James' 40 year forestry career includes leading roles in all elements of sustainable forest management: economic, environmental and social. He has headed up England’s largest lowland and upland forests; lead grants & licenses and social forestry policy for FC Scotland; was President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and spent two years in community forestry in Africa. He has a perspective on the world that’s only shared by a select few; he has been at the summit the highest mountains on all seven continents. Now a Woodland Trust non-executive director, the Edinburgh-based chartered forester and author has a suitably big vision for the future of trees, woods and forests.

Tree Aid Georges Bazongo
Bell Martin Fundraising map
James Ogilvie at Everest

Vikki Bengtsson & Xander Johnston

The Tree Lady Talks  - - to Xander Johnston & Vikki Bengtsson

Vikki Bengtsson is an ecologist and has worked professionally with nature conservation since 1992. Up until 2003, she worked in England and now works primarily in Sweden. Vikki has worked throughout her career with issues relating to practical management and restoration of ancient trees and wood pastures. She also trains arborists, landscape architects, site managers and planners in the care and management of ancient trees. She was project manager for the European VETree and VETcert projects developing training and a certification system for veteran tree professionals across Europe.

Xander ‘AntBoy’ Johnston, a young naturalist, currently at high school, who specialises in wood ants and rare and endangered invertebrates found in the Scottish highlands. Xander has recorded over 800 hours volunteering in the last 4 years, and has become a respected expert in the field of entomology. Xander shares his knowledge and his passion for conservation by creating videos for his YouTube channel ( He has also appeared on a number of occasions on national TV, including the BBC watches, Countryfile and Blue Peter, helping to highlight the importance of insects to the nation. Xander strongly believes that “Insects are the foundation of the ecosystem, without them nothing would survive, including us!” 



The Tree Lady Talks  - - to Cecil Konijnendijk & Johan Ostberg, founders of the  Nature Based Solutions Institute (NBSI)

Discussing ways to ensure that nature is at the heart of urban areas, this podcast covers the work of the NSBI.

Cecil Konijnendijk has been an urban forestry researcher, educator, advisor, and speaker for over 25 years. His passion has taken him to different parts of the globe. Cecil’s publications have included books such as ‘The Forest and the City: the cultural landscape of urban woodland’ and the Routledge Handbook of Urban Forestry. He co-founded the scientific journal ‘Urban Forestry & Urban Greening’ and was also a key force behind the annual European Forum on Urban Forestry. Since 2016 has been a professor of urban forestry at the University of British Columbia, Canada. This summer he relocated to Barcelona and set up the Nature Based Solutions Institute together with Johan Östberg.

Johan Östberg is an associate professor at the Department of Landscape Architecture, at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, where he´s been working since 2007. Johan has a M.Sc. in Landscape Planning from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2008), a PhD in Landscape Planning also from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2013) and has been working as a researcher and teacher since 2014.

Apart from his academic career he is also an ISA Certified Arborist and active as a consultant, where he is running a consultant networking comprising of consultants from a different profession, working together to create management plans for larger tree populations in Sweden.

Cecil Konijnendijk
Johan Ostberg


Featuring three specialists and including contributions from members of the public:-

  • Matilda Van Den Boscha trained physician and a PhD in landscape planning and public health. Currently, she is an assistant professor at The University of British Columbia in Canada with a joint appointment between the Faculties of Medicine and Forestry. She is the primary editor of the Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Healthpublished by the Oxford University Press in 2018. Click here for the link to her published paper.
  • Dr Punam Krishandoctor, life coach and writer currently working as an NHS GP in Glasgow.  Senior clerical lecturer at the University of Glasgow. Trustee and Glasgow regional director for the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Click here for more about Punam.
  • Clare Olver, Programmes Manager,Mersey Forest. Clare has been involved in land management for over 25 years, and having worked previously in the private sector, has wide-ranging experience of strategic land regeneration. Clare has an extensive knowledge of partnerships, organisations and landowners across North West England, and is a key player in delivery of the Northern Forest.  Click here for more information on the work at the Mersey Forest.





Richard began his career in residential development with Try Homes in late 2006.  Following the acquisition of Linden Homes, Richard remained with the business until January 2009 taking up a land buying position with Banner Homes.  Having progressed within the Banner Homes business up until the CALA Homes acquisition in March 2014 and beyond, Richard setup and established Landvest in April 2015. Landvest has grown significantly over the past 5 years and we now have sites under contract or in the planning system totalling over 1,000 units. Thus includes projects in Leyton (500 units), Nazeing (250 units) & Crews Hill, Enfield (600 units). We are a small bespoke developer, promoting a range of mixed-use and residential-led schemes and we provide a development consultancy function for several retained clients.


Lacey Rose grew up on the 53° N parallel in Labrador, Canada. Graduating from the University of New Brunswick in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, Lacey has been a Registered Professional Forester in Ontario since 2008. Lacey’s work experience has ranged from working on tree plants in the Boreal forest, to writing a forest management plan for 250,000 hectares of Crown forest in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest, to hands-on managing a small, community forest landbase. Outside of these roles, Lacey is a councillor for the Ontario Professional Forester’s Association, Co-Founder of Women in Wood, and the host of a web-series titled “Mighty Jobs”. Otherwise, you will find her gardening, paddleboarding, ice fishing, or camping in the interior of Algonquin Park.



Mima Letts is the Assistant Forester on the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire and also the Founder and Director of Tree Sparks. Mima studied Forestry at Bangor University after stumbling across the course when trying to work out what to do after school. When Mima discovered the diverse and wonderful profession which is forestry, she was determined to share it with the world, starting Tree Sparks to try and promote forestry careers to young people and the world! In her spare time, Mima is an absolute Lego fanatic and is currently working on recreating Chatsworth House in lego form.

Here is the link for the IWD film :



Jon Ryan is the Arboricultural Manager for Islington Council, where he has worked since 2008. He has thirty years' experience working in arboriculture, starting as a grounds man in 1989, working as a tree surgeon for 17 years until deciding to become a tree officer. Jon is a member of the Executive Committee of the London Tree Officers Association and chairs the planning working party. He has presented at conferences and seminars on urban tree management and will talk to anyone who'll listen about trees. Jon is interested in public engagement, promoting tree officers as a profession and improving urban tree management.

For the link to the urban tree cover that Jon references, click here.

For the Treeconomics reports, click here.




'..........the management of trees has to be properly funded. We need a clearer career route and ensure that tree officer-ship and tree management for local authorities is properly funded'.







John Parker is Technical Director at the Arboricultural Association, where he has worked since August 2019. He has more than ten years of experience in public sector tree management and from 2012-2019 was a member of the Executive Committee of the London Tree Officers Association, which he Chaired in 2016-18, and until 2019 was a Director of the National Association of Tree Officers. John is a member of the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) International Steering Group and is a Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Arboriculturist. He frequently presents at national and international conferences such as EFUF, the National Tree Officers Conference, the ICF International Conference and the European Arboricultural Council and has delivered a TED Talk entitled Why trees are better than people (available on YouTube). In 2018 he was named Young European Urban Forester of the Year. John is interested in public engagement, green equity and promoting the benefits of trees, with particular consideration for their social and cultural value.

Here are the links to the papers John referred to

Lorien Nesbitt at the University of British Columbia (Canada) and Nanamhla Gwedla at Rhodes University (South Africa).

The links to their ResearchGate profiles are here:


''s not JUST about chucking trees in the ground, it's about looking after those trees as well'.