At a recent conference, our director Mima was asked to explain why she had chosen ‘Tree Sparks’ as the name for our enterprise and has written this post below to give you all an insight.

When I was first starting to think about Tree Sparks and forming the concept, I never really thought about what name I would give the whole project. It was only when my idea got chosen to present at Big Ideas Wales Celebrated that I realised I needed to come up with a name and it took me quite a while.

After hours of pondering and tinkering around, I came up with Tree Sparks and it just stuck. It was short and sweet and memorable (alongside being easy to spell), but I didn’t really give any thought into its actual meaning or how I formed the name until I was speaking at a recent conference.

At the Skills and Education conference hosted by the ICF and Network Rail, I had been invited to speak about my concept for Tree Sparks but the hardest question I received after my presentation wasn’t something about the technical details, but the simple question of “why Tree Sparks? Why not Forest Sparks or Forestry Sparks seeing as you are trying to promote forestry careers?”

The first thing which sprang to mind after being asked that question was simply ‘Tree Sparks sounds better than Forest Sparks’ – but when I actually thought about it, the term ‘forest’ had never really come into my considerations when trying to choose a name and there are 2 reasons for this.

The first is that Tree Sparks, although focused on forestry careers (I am a forester after all), wants to promote career options from all across the outdoor and environmental sector, from arboriculturalist, to environmental scientists, to foresters, and one of things these careers often have in common is trees!

The second is that I am only studying forestry and starting this enterprise because I love trees. Coming from the Fens, I grew up surrounded by solitary urban trees or those in hedgerows, not by vast forests. My favourite tree is actually the singular horse chestnut found outside of King’s College Cambridge not one tree among many in a forest. Almost all the people I talk to who are studying forestry or a related subject are doing it because they love trees and it is this passion and love for trees which I want to spread and share! It therefore seemed only fitting that the word Tree featured in our name.

‘Spark’ is easy to explain. When I teach bushcraft, I always talk about something called the fire triangle, which outlines the 3 things you need to start a fire: fuel, air and heat. In our case, the fuel is you, the air is all around us and Tree Sparks is the heat – we simply create a spark from which we hope to inspire young people (adding a bit more fuel along the way to help them grow!). We want to be the spark which ignites their interest in the environment and trees and careers in the industry! To put it simply, Tree Sparks wants to ignite conversation about trees.

If you want to find out how Tree Sparks can help you ignite conversation about trees in your community or group then get in touch @tree_sparks.