Tom planting trees

Dr Thomas Murphy collaborated with creative agency Just Enough Brave on a set of resources to increase the accessibility of research for improved native woodland expansion.

Woodland expansion is a ‘nature-based solution’ which is now recognised as potentially one of the most effective climate change mitigation options to date, with the capacity to absorb and store large volumes of carbon, reduce river flooding and support biodiversity. However, it remains unclear whether natural tree establishment can supply demand for expanded oak woodland in the UK uplands, where they are needed to reduce downstream flood risk. The research examined the potential for the natural establishment of native oak trees into upland pasture slopes, and provided targeted management recommendations to land managers and policymakers for the expansion of these woodlands.  

The creative collaboration, called ‘Trees for climate: an emergency help-guide’, is about getting the research where it is needed through the use of high-impact communication tools. The project aims to communicate research and management guidance for the establishment of upland oak woodland in a digestible way to land managers and policymakers, while also linking individuals and stakeholders who want to take action with organisations supporting native woodland creation.

Multi-channel campaign

The collaboration resulted in several communication tools, including:
  • A dedicated microsite presenting the research in digestible segments and designed to encourage users to engage with project partners.
  • A downloadable white paper, which takes the detailed research by Dr Thomas Murphy and presents it in a visually engaging format using photography and infographics to communicate the recommendations.
  • An animated video developed to convey the research in an engaging format for sharing via social media.
  • A set of infographics presenting key messages from the whitepaper to assist in communicating the research with stakeholders.
“The Trees for Climate campaign brings distilled and succinct messaging together with high-impact creative assets to engage and drive viewers towards our desired calls to action. The campaign employs a number of channels to capture audiences, and the creative assets will be shared with partners so that they can help amplify our messages.”

David Smith, Creative Director, Just Enough Brave
Tom on Dartmoor
As a Trustee of Moor Trees, Tom can often be found on Dartmoor
David and his son
David and his son get stuck in to planting

Collaboration was integral to the project, with cross-discipline working reinforced through site visits, including a tree planting session with Moor Trees as part of the UK environment agencies Dartmoor Headwaters Pilot Project and a visit to the Just Enough Brave creative studio.

Trees for Climate links with research and project partners including the UK Environment Agency, Moor Trees, Future Forest Network and Low Carbon Devon.

Tree planting
Tom is involved with developing Moor Trees' citizen science programme and has been planting trees since 2012
Tree planting
Tree planting
Oak seedling
Oak seedling naturally establishing on Dartmoor pasture
UK upland Atlantic oak woodland is considered temperate rainforest
JEB logo

Just Enough Brave

David Smith is the Founding Director of Just Enough Brave, a marketing and design communications agency. He was the creative lead for this project and has over 19 years of experience. Just Enough Brave work with prominent regional brands, including Midas Group, Plymouth Argyle FC, University of Plymouth and City College Plymouth, but have been delighted to turn their creative hand to such an important and purposeful project as part of the Creative Associates programme.

Creative Associates

The Sustainable Earth Institute's Creative Associates projects aim to explore novel and innovative ways of communicating research and develop a portfolio of case studies of the different creative approaches possible.
Patient at Krygyz Research Institute of Balneology and
Recovery Treatment. Interestingly, it doesn’t take much to move people from the
formal expressions in portraits into a much warmer mood. Image: Carey Marks
Image: Carey Marks/Creative Associates