In a theatrical feature and 1-hour television documentary, we follow visionary scientist, conservationist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, on her journey to the most beautiful forests of the northern hemisphere. From the sacred sugi and cedar forests of Japan, the ancient Raheen Wood of Ireland, the walnut and redwood trees of America, to the great boreal forest of Canada, Beresford-Kroeger tells us the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while also explaining the science of trees and the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.
Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a world recognized author and scientist. She has a unique combination of western scientific knowledge and the traditional concepts of the ancient world. Orphaned in Ireland in her youth, Beresford-Kroeger was educated by elders who instructed her in the Brehon knowledge of plants and nature.
For those of us who have grown up in Canada there seems an endless supply of trees, yet in this country we cut down approximately a billion of them every year. This idea of an endless natural bounty reminds me of a story I heard in elementary school. It was from John Cabot’s diary about the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Cabot wrote that all one had to do to catch fish was to drop a bucket over board and pull it up and there would be fish in it. Now a days that bucket is more likely to not be filled with fish but with used condoms and tampon applicators.
The main figure in this film, biochemist and botanist Diana Beresford Kroeger talks about now seeing within view for the first time, the end of nature. For us in the cities, I suspect we must look with a guided eyeglass to see what is happening in nature, as we have lost the ability for ourselves to know what we are seeing. We are in tune with the rhythm of the cities, with its traffic flows, but not so much with how a river flows.
This idea of sign recognition in nature is key to the understanding the interconnected laws of our natural world beyond our immediate selves; recognition, identification of signs and comprehension of implications of our actions and/or inactions. And for Diana, the tree is our perfect steppingstone back to nature. From the single tree outside your door to a vast forest beyond our view or conception, Diana believes the necessary re-engagement of person and tree is where real understanding of nature can grow from.
This is even more critical as the world’s population is shifting towards urban from rural. And it will be the urban populations that will determine the policies of how the rural agricultural lands and forests will be managed.
“Diana Beresford-Kroeger and I share a dream. We want people to see the forest and the trees, and the wildlife abounding in wild environments, in fine detail.”