Earlier this year, the Big Canopy Campout saw hundreds of people and organisations take to the trees this September, sleeping out in forests around the globe to raise funds for vital conservation work. One such group is the Bob Brown Foundation, who got in touch with Tentsile to ask for some Tree Tents to help fight deforestation on the front line. Of course, we were more than happy to join their plight – saving trees is what we do best. Hear from Erik Hayward -grassroots activist and conservationist from the Bob Brown Foundation - as he explains what’s happening in the Tarkine Forests of Tasmania.

If you haven't seen one, you can’t picture it up, til’ it’s out of the bag, sprawled on the undulating forest ground and until you’ve all started pulling the slack out of the ratchet straps. As it lifts like a sail it fills the empty space and becomes the extraordinary feature in the middle of the Rainforest. You would never expect to be greeted by a floating tent on your way down the mossy track into the blockade occupation camp deep in Tasmania’s Tarkine. Takayna, in the local aboriginal language.

The seeds of these trees that provide stoic anchors for the corners of these Tentsile contraptions, had just cracked open sprawling new life into an already ancient forest at the time when king Henry VIII succeeded to the English throne, and when Leonardo Da Vinci and Shakespeare were knocking around, Australia hadn’t felt the wrath of colonialism and the Aboriginal Australians were happily walking about these lands.

There is a pile of woodchips at Burnie export mill (Tasmania) the size of the Dune de Pilat in France. That is the reason for all of this.

Lying in the canopy brings short reprieve for the predicament of this particular wild place. While we are there, the forests stay standing.

Only the birds provide some sense of scale. A backdrop of lush green, wet weathered leaves are darkened by the cold clouds breathing heavily above us. Without this cold dark wet this place wouldn’t be here, or be able to exist as what it is… a majestic and magnificent wild wonderland. A Rainforest.

Kid playing in Trillium Hammock in Tarkine rainforestCamping just off the ground in these forests we are privileged beyond our understanding. No human being has ever seen the views from the tops of these particular beasts, no one has yet rubbed noses with the bark of these flowering plants as it peels off to greet us on our way round the double barrel trunk, no one has yet sat in a crotch in this tree, contemplating whether its brother next door, or it’s sister next to that is taller, or just the same age, 4 centuries, 5 centuries old? 

All these areas have now had their fates sealed, approval given to be savagely and systematically felled, bulldozed, cleared and burnt to cinders. The timber’s final destination to be spinning uncontrollably next to toilet seats the world over. 

It is with passion that we are making a stand, for more than just trees and forests, but for climate justice.

Shimmers of golden sunlight set majestic shadows on the glimmering forest floor, soft and crunchy with mosses, lichens and mushrooms of inconceivable colours. The warm cozy fire raging draws us all in, circling it like druids among intermittent cold rain showers. But still the contingent of activists, climbers, conservationists and supporters is looking so strong. 

The Bob Brown Foundation is feisty organisation based on grassroots action and relies on community involvement and support to protect Takayna and other threatened places.  

We are all so very humbled for the support to act in defence of our wild places - and while pollinating ideas globally for the protection of these important ecosystems, we are all acting in solidarity. 

For The Wild

Huge thank you to Erik Hayward, Grassroots Activist with Bob Foundation, for writing this blog.

Llinos Evans