During my time as a pupil at Summerhill School, people would say “If you are looking for Henry, you should not look on the ground, you should look up in the trees!”
I spent a lot of my younger years at Summerhill swinging in the canopy of the grandest trees, whether with a group of friends making huts or just on my own.
I rediscovered my love for tree climbing in 2015 and have been doing it ever since. It is not only just lovely being among the tree tops but it is also a fairly undiscovered way of keeping fit and healthy, physically and mentally.
All the tree climbing I do is freestyle, meaning I don’t use any safety equipment or aids at all. Of course I remain within my boundaries but this is part of what makes it such an important thing to do. It keeps you fully in touch with your own instincts, it keeps all your senses active and alive. And as you will see here you get amazing rewards…
So, to celebrate 100 years of Summerhill, and freedom for childhood, I have decided to climb 100 trees during 2020 and 2021. 🙂
I will climb 100 different trees. they will all have to be large and I’ll do them without any safety equipment.
I will film some and take pictures and keep everyone update on here and in the Summerhill Centenary Facebook Group on my progress. Hope you enjoy it.
The first tree has officially been climbed!! 🙂
It was such a beautiful day today so I decided to make a start.
Had to get myself all dressed up for the occasion!!..
So, I climbed a tree I call ‘Lyndon’s Tree’. He was the Art teacher at Summerhill and he was the first person to my knowledge to figure out a way into its canopy. It is a very tall pine tree. Not necessarily very difficult but has a number of transfers so can be quite scary the first time you climb it.
Hope you enjoy the video…
Whilst I was up there I realised I wasn’t the only climber in the canopy of the tree…
I stayed up there for 20 mins or so hanging out with the squirrel and enjoying the view…
Please let me know if you have any preferences of how I’m doing these video’s in the comments below. If you prefer commentary or want me to shut up and just have music playing 🙂 or maybe you don’t want videos at all. Im very happy to adjust things. This is the first time I have done this in this form so let me know.
2nd Tree Climbed!… With a little bonus climb too! 🙂
As the weather was still stunning, I went out again to capture my second climb. This one is a beautiful Oak tree on the grounds of Summerhill.
This Oak tree I call Mei’s tree. She was a pupil at Summerhill who used to just hang out in the tree and read books. She also showed me how to actually get up into the tree.
It’s a tree that has had many kids playing in it over the years. The bottom part has lots of branches that are all close together and so is ideal for making huts. and platforms.
We spent many an hour playing in this tree as a kid.
P.S. I want to apologise to you all for the use of a swear word in this video. I couldn’t edit it out as my editing software isn’t so good. I will make sure in the future that I’m more careful.
As I was heading home, after completing the above climb, I pasted by this beautiful little cherry tree in full bloom and thought I’d share it with you all…
A day of 4 trees
Another beautiful spring day so I went out to get a few extra trees under my belt.
The first I did was a copper beach tree situated around the back of the main Summerhill building. It’s a nice challenging climb which has been done by many generations of Summerhill pupils over the years. At this time of year copper beaches have a lovely atmosphere about them with their newly sprouting, bright red leaves.
This time I added a little music to give you all a break from my narrating. 🙂
My next climb was an old lime tree just on the outskirts of the Summerhill woods. We used to spend many hours amongst it’s branches when we were kids.
The whole climb took 15 minutes so I’m just sharing the accent.