Listening to Trees – Audio

A meditation on the changing environment of Bellsdyke Hospital, using field and voice recordings and patients’ recollections. This piece details the health, form and condition of all the trees on the estate, exploring the botanical roots of medical terminology, inspired by a landscape architect’s ‘tree survey’ of the Stirling District Asylum Estate.

Avenues of mature elm trees intersect new housing built on the grounds of the former Bellsdyke Hospital. A beech hedge traces the edge of a walkway which no longer exists, whilst symmetrically planted yew trees lead to an invisible entry point.

‘In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity.’
Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte(Trees. Reflections and Poems)

‘Silver Pendant Lime: good specimen in satisfactory health and condition, dense basal suckers; Red Oak: contorted crown of poor form and structure; Sycamore: reasonable specimen in fair condition, forms part of dense group; Lawson Cypress: fair condition, very bare and suppressed on one side where adjacent to woodland; Poplar: biased to west, dense ivy growth on trunk, reasonable specimen in satisfactory health and condition.’