At a kitchen table in 2010 I decided on my personal challenge: to climb a tree every day for a year (and maybe create a book about it). I climbed my first tree that night. After two weeks of climbing a tree every day I started inviting people to join me, recording our conversations on the branches. They would turn to politics, the environment, childhood memories, science, maths, art, the pace of life, death, waste, yeast cultures, romance, fresh ground coffee, transition, Utopia. Some of my companions included a band, a class of nine-year-old children (who sang to me about trees), a shaman family, a non-protesting protestor, a politician, a holistic economist, professors, artists, poets, activists and 44 people at once, including an eight-month pregnant woman!

Each tree was its own ‘stage’ and gave me a story, inspiring a new line of thought. I climbed in ten countries, found myself on a Norwegian chat show, in a three-story tree house theatre, was hoisted into a tree by the Fire Brigade, had my hair cut in a tree, staged my own death falling out of a tree, almost fell to my death from that very tree for real by accident, failed to impress myself with an attempt at direct political action, climbed the famous Trafalgar Square Christmas tree before it was cut down in Oslo. It came to an end with a Family Tree Party where I climbed with my estranged parents and a forest exhibition where a bird made a nest in my art.

It was a surreal and enriching adventure that helped me to galvanise my ideas for world change and gave me greater sensitivity to nature. I am now ready to fight for life.

I’m interested in the root of our troubles, the blockages to change and what a vital and inspired global world might be like. I don’t imagine I’ll get there myself, or if any of us will, but I’m naive enough not to have given up on trying to reach a Utopia.

I will be sharing this story as a vibrant book – bringing together over 1400 pages of my diaries, my reflections and research since it ended, the transcribed and edited conversations I had with my co-climbers and a selection from thousands of photographs I took. Read more about the progress HERE.

I thank everyone who humoured me with their involvement and support for the project.

In case you were wondering, I am:

An anxty environmentalist with a smile and a grimace. I write, create 2 and 3D visual art, directs theatre and film, build wooden things. I’ve been pulling, drawing and imagining the cart with and without a horse since leaving school. I juggle a string of projects, worry about ideas, rewrite scripts, lug art to galleries, scrawl poems on tiny pieces of paper, plan to take over the world, stare at my computer screen, edit digital images and make stories with them, thank and apologise to actors for their performances, whistle down the street, occasionally struggle to get out of bed, fill suitcases with smoke, travel to Norway for the other half of my life, irritate people and trying to make them (and myself) laugh while doing all the other good and bad things people do in this society.


uptrees ( a t ) gauntlettandson dot com

Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/145829695430016/

Twitter: @uptreeslog



  1. Rest assured Henrik – your head +is+ screwed firmly on. There’s nothing like climbing a tree to get a real perspective on your position in the world.

    Mind you, this is coming from someone who has spent much of the last 5 years building houses out of mud. So take it with a pinch of salt…

    Consider yourself invited to come and climb a tree in Northern Spain (and have a place to stay while doing it) anytime you like.

  2. PS. Re: the getting down issue. Um, ever consider taking a rope and climbing harness with you – or would that be considered cheating?

  3. Wow. Thanks for that offer.. I’d certainly like to take you up on that! And your mud houses – are there any huts you built on line?
    Is it possible to build a mud hut online? I’m thinking of Tron. (the movie).
    Anyway yes. Are you talking about Cobbing or something like that?

  4. Haven’t seen Tron – well, except for the original one, back in the 70s/early 80s was it? I remember I thought it was really fabulous, that was how the future was going to be. These days I’m trying to connect more to the web of life than the World Wide Web… But take a look at abrazohouse.org – we’re building mostly with straw bale / cob.
    Drop me a line!

  5. Thank you for climbing our beech tree at the Ravens. Hope to be able to send pictures soon via email. A few interesting shots of the event. Hope your photo study of planter were successful. Lovely seeing you. Short but sweet. Like a tree planted by the water, etc. Love Snowy.

  6. Henrik, sounds like another hair brained yet well thought out and thoroughly worthy scheme that you have embarked upon here.
    I wish you all the best with it and look forward to purchasing the forthcoming book.

    Happy Christmas ………which tree will you be climbing on Xmas day?

    I’m currently living in Mexico……alot of cactus here….not so good for climbing unfortunately!!!

    Regards, Guy Rounce

  7. A story for you.

    A few Christmases ago we had a party for lots of family and friends. An actress friend dressed up as a fairy and sat in the fork of rowan in the front garden, from where she could see the Christmas tree inside the house. The kids had the job of getting her inside, inventing games to play that would shrink her, so she could get on top of the Christmas tree. Which of course, ‘she’ did eventually.

    I hope this Christmas you are warm, well and happy.


  8. Nice to hear from you Guy… Long time no see…
    It’s hair brained and not that well thought out… but it’s beginning to take shape.
    Look forward to catching up one of these days!
    Climb a tree for me over there. I’m sure you can find one. Send me the evidence…!
    And good question… The Christmas day tree. Probably try and get up a tree in the graveyard where my grandmother is buried. Might have gone to church with her if she was still round these parts.

  9. Nice story Anna… What kind of shrinking games did they play?
    As for me… Christmas – all good. In Norway. Warm when indoors.
    HOpe you’re good and thanks for the story. Yes!

  10. Henrick!

    You legend! I’m loving your tree climbing project! Inspired!
    I’m doing a professional tree climbing course at the end of the month.
    Are you coming to Cornwall on your travels? I’d love to climb with you if you are.
    You can always stay with us in our cottage in St Day.
    Old Gordon Avenue love.

    Mic and family x

  11. Nice one Mic,
    Good to hear from you! A tree climbing course ey… I spent an afternoon with a brilliant guy who showed me how to use ropes in the trees etc. An inspired tree surgeon. That post is come but I’m a bit behind with it all… Otherwise. Yes! Would be great to meet up a tree indeed. I’ll let you know when I manage to get down that way! Look forward to catching up! Let me know about your course though. If it’s good post something about it here. Take some pictures… Anyway! Until the hour.

  12. Henrik – How very eggocentric ! Have not heard from you since ‘we’ all levitated Wesminster ! Ah the good ole days of the 20th century-freedom,caravans and the wide open world of a non-consturcted reality. Glad to hear you are alive and well into the 21st century. Live, love & laugh in solidarity -M.ib

  13. If only there were some other medium you could publish this experience and information!
    Other than on trees….

    When’s the last time you embedded a video interview into a book ~ s2 ~

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