Climbing 100 Trees

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. πŸ™‚

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.

Just to give you an idea of my world of tree climbing.

The first tree has officially been climbed!! πŸ™‚

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…

Not sure he/she was expecting to see me up there!! πŸ˜‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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.

30 thoughts on “Climbing 100 Trees

    1. Hey Diana. Yeah. We have a lovely selection of trees at Summerhill too. But there is no way 100 so I’ll have to go on lots of adventures to find other ones in the area and even afar when travelling is allowed. πŸ™‚

  1. Oh, Henry! I am curious about the unclimbing process. You are so quick to climb trees. Great to see all your progress on that project.
    Good to tree you! πŸ˜‰

    1. Haha!! Not to sure how unclimbing works. Or is all freestyle climbing unclimbing?πŸ€”
      Glad you like it. I’ll try and keep updates regular.

  2. hi Henry
    Like your project. Remember climbing trees also. Nice. Its what almost everybody does. Would like comments on your videos. Always scary when the branches are very small. Hope you fulfil your aim.

    1. Thanks Thomas.
      Ok, I’ll keep commentary going and if everybody gets bored of me, you can tell me to be quiet.
      Yeah, tree climbing has always been a popular thing at Summerhill, and still is.

  3. I Love it! You got it in your bones πŸ™‚ Music is fine, just play with the beat and without beat or maybe just a beat when You are a Bird πŸ™‚

    Thank You 4 sharing this with us!
    I’m cheering 4 You all the way!!!

    Go, Gadget πŸ™‚

    1. Haha!! Thanks Aleksander. πŸ™‚
      There is often a copyright issue with music but I’ll see what I can do. Be good to shut me up sometimes and play some lovely music. πŸ˜€

  4. I enjoyed your travel ,listen to your Voice and music as well.I have a similar video with my children.Tree climbing makes you feel freedom and put away all the bad thoughts..Thank you so much for the ride!

  5. Fantastic!

    I used to love getting right to the very top of a tree where the branches were thinning out and you could see the world!

    Watching this makes me want to get out and find a big tree to climb! πŸ˜‰

    Although last time I climbed a tree I ended up in a bramble bush with a branch in my hand… a minute after I had told my wife I was fine and I have been climbing trees since I was a little boy πŸ˜‰

    I look forward to seeing more pics / vids!

    1. HAHAHA!!
      I guess this is a good time to say. “CLIMB AT YOUR OWN RISK!!” πŸ˜‰
      It really is the most wonderful thing to do. Even if you only get a little off the ground.
      Just stay safe. Would hate for your wife to give me a ring and say, “He’s done it again! And this time its your fault!!”πŸ˜…

  6. Wonderful Henry! Got a bit dizzy in the video but that only added to the excitement. Such a great project… and dare I ask, when does the Big Beech come in to it? The 100th?

    1. Glad you liked it. πŸ™‚
      Not sure we should even mention the Big Beech.😱
      Maybe after completing 100 trees I’ll feel fit and ready enough to give it a go. Been over 30 years.πŸ˜…

    1. HaHa!! No No Mike!! This Festival needs to happen and I need not to fall out of a tree!! πŸ™‚
      Lots of love to you. Hope you are well. x

  7. This is awesome, Henry!
    It made me smile big time! And my heart pound too! It just inspired me to what my personal 100yearsofsummerhill’s project might turn up to be: I want to do 100 different things inspired by 100 different people! I will describe it in detail when I register myself in the website (soon, I promise!)
    I like the description as you go but also think that it could be amazing with music or just the sounds of nature too! Besides, you might connect with the trees more if you disconnect with us! πŸ˜πŸ™Œβ€οΈ

    1. Thanks Jay
      Oh my god that is such an amazing idea for a project!! You definitely need to get that going!!😍
      Yeah music in the background would be best. I need to find some good royalty free music I can use.
      Speak Soon x

    1. Thanks mate!
      I’m thinking a full english breakfast might be good!πŸ™‚

  8. Project started! And the first thing was to climb a tree! yaaaay! Now, I need to learn how to edit the video as it was a bit to big to upload it! Thanks for inspiring me!

  9. Wow, thanks for sharing. I remember climbing a lot of trees in Summerhill with my friends Victor and Michael. The challenge was to cross the ground from east to south without touching the ground. We used to make our own climbing gear out of old safety belts and we had a rope and a anchor from a rubber dinghy as a Graveling hook to get us from one tree to another.

    1. Hey Frank
      Love the idea of crossing the whole school off the ground! I’m gonna put my mind to a grappling hook too! Hope you are well.

  10. Henry! How nice these updates on the tree climbing project! Well done! The music was really cool as well! I love the spring colors! My project had a break at this week, but seeing your progress is a great reminder of how fun is doing new things! I might introduce myself to a horse as suggested by Zoe! Just not quite sure how I should do that! Anyway! Thanks for sharing this positive energy! Xx

    1. I like it!! Go and do some horse riding!!
      I guess that might become an issue with your project huh, that you can’t easily access what you need for the specific thing you are doing. Where are you going to find a horse? Or maybe that will add to the challenge? πŸ˜‰

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