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Time to Grow – painting for the planet on World Environment Day with Professor Alice Roberts

Professor Alice Roberts

On World Environment Day 2019 (5th June), TREE AID took over Bristol’s iconic College Green with the help of Professor Alice Roberts, Badminton School and 300 members of the public, to spread the word that now is the TIME to act, to re-green the planet and slow down the effects of climate change.

On Wednesday, TREE AID celebrated the significant day by encouraging the people of Bristol to transform its ‘TIME’ sculpture by painting on their own green sapling of hope. The collaborative art piece sent a powerful message that now is the time to act, to re-green the planet and slow down climate change.

One of the contributing artists was TV presenter and biologist, Professor Alice Roberts. As a passionate environmentalist, Alice talked about why now is the time to act:

“I think climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge that is facing humanity this century and that’s not over egging it, this is what the global risk report says. Sometimes these huge challenges can just feel too vast to grasp but it’s all about making a global impact by acting locally.”

A dedicated supporter of TREE AID, Alice explained by she is supporting the charity: “There is a brilliant campaign at the moment called She Grows, which is supporting women in the drylands of Africa to use products of trees and generate an income for themselves.

“It’s about environmentalism, it’s about gender equality, it’s about tackling poverty.”

TREE AID was also joined by students from Badminton School, including their Eco Council and student Environmental Officers. The school will be supporting TREE AID’s match-funded appeal at their summer fete, this Sunday 9th June.

The day was a huge success, with over 300 members of the public working with local artist, Jay Roerade, who worked with Bristol Design Forge to create the ‘TIME’ piece using reclaimed wood from Bristol Recycling Project.

Jay said: “Creativity brings people together. Collaborative live art is a simple and effective way of raising awareness and communicating a clear message.”

International Development Minister, Baroness Sugg, said, “It’s fantastic to see TREE AID calling on the people of Bristol to come together and mark World Environment Day with such an ambitious and creative project.

“By empowering women across Mali to farm and manage the forest around them the She Grows appeal will both protect the environment and lift these women out of poverty by giving them their own income. I am proud that UK aid is backing the appeal; this partnership means that every pound the British public generously donate will go twice as far.”

The finished art piece, ‘TIME’, has now been moved to Queen Square for the Festival of Nature where it will be all weekend, as well as TREE AID offering face painting, plants of sale and prizes including organic veg boxes from Better Foods.

The art stunt was part of a UK government-backed appeal to help 1,000 women in Mali reverse the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drylands of Africa. The UK government will match all public donations to the She Grows appeal before 30th June through the UK Aid Match scheme.

To donate and find out more, visit the TREE AID website:



Contact details

Sally Airey, Communications Manager at TREE AID: / 07432634643

Andrea Sexton, PR consultant, / 0788 799 7922


- John Moffett, TREE AID CEO.


- TREE AID helps people in the drylands of Africa to lift themselves out of poverty and protect their environment, using the power of trees and enterprise training.

- TREE AID was established as a charity in 1987 in Bristol by a group of local foresters in response to the famine in Ethiopia. They believed that trees offered an effective solution to poverty, protecting the environment and providing food, income and a means to educate their children.

- TREE AID plants 1 tree every 30 seconds, on average, and has supported more than 1.2 million people to transform their lives through the power of trees. The organisation works in the drylands of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Niger and environmentally-fragile areas of Ethiopia — places where people live in extreme poverty and have little food, money or opportunity. Find out more:

About UK Aid Match

- UK Aid Match brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

- For every £1 given by the public to a UK Aid Match charity appeal, the government adds £1 from the UK’s international development budget.

- Over the last five years 42 organisations from across the UK have run UK Aid Match projects in 27 developing countries, helping around 25 million people.

- UK Aid Match gives everyone in the UK a say in how the UK’s aid money is spent. It boosts the impact of high quality projects that improve the lives of poor people in developing countries. Find out more: