History of the Project

Back in late 2020, Open Eye Gallery and dot-art started inviting the public to create a history of Liverpool through its trees, using personal stories and photography. Trees are the perfect vehicle through which to tell a story of the region – they share its resilience, strength and its diverse and fascinating story. In these times of global crisis, we all benefit from taking a step back and seeing our own experiences in a wider historical context. The city and its trees have survived war, disease and many other hardships; the recent pandemic is just the latest.

We started by asking a broad cross section of people, from historians to tree professionals to family members, to share a story about a tree that was important to them. Eight of these were selected and photographer Andy Yates was commissioned to produce images of these important Liverpool trees. These photographs show trees from a few years old to over 1000 years old – so already we were starting to build a picture of the trees that have affected us and our city region as it was founded, has grown, thrived, declined and thrived again. We hope the project will also encourage us all to engage with and be more aware of the trees and green spaces that enrich our lives.

In January 2022 we were awarded funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop the project further; working with four schools and four community groups across the Liverpool City Region to build knowledge and awareness of natural heritage and plant trees in partnership with The Mersey Forest. The funding also allowed us to build this website, so we can reach more people, sharing our findings and resources and continuing to collect and share TreeStories.