Wood Wide Web

Pooping wood mouse sculpture

A HUGE thank you to you and your team for the gorgeous, inviting and engaging installation in Bethlehem Woods. Our director Richard Deverell spent much of his last visit here looking up the mouses bum!“

Emily Jones – Programmes Producer @ Wakehurst-Kew

Our Wood Wide Web is inspired by the hidden mycorrhizal relationships underground, between fungi, trees and plants. Similar to the Internet which informs so many of our actions but is totally invisible from seeing our physical bodies. We have imagined what the trees are doing and saying over the Wood Wide Web. We are fascinated by how much we don’t yet know about the mysterious social lives of trees. 

Acorn goblet

You can visit this interactive work. We encourage you to take your time and immerse yourself in our Wood Wide Web. Touch and have a go. Lift the receivers you find to listen in to what is happening on the wood wide web. Loose yourself in the bustling night market, enjoy a budding birch romance and marvel at the heroism of long distance travellers.

We love the interconnectedness of fungi and mammals all playing a role in the healthcare of the forest. We hope that our Wood Wide Web demonstrates how working together thoughtfully, the trees are happier and healthier, but they need compatible mycelial partners to be able to hear each other. The healthiest and most mature trees perform the best carbon capture, so planting any new trees should be done thoughtfully by partnering up compatible species. What is truly exciting is that we are only just beginning to learn how much the trees are doing and saying, there is clearly so much more to be revealed. 

Woody the Wood Mouse plays a big role in the wood wide web. The forest is full of their favourite foods of roots, seeds, berries, nuts, grasses, kernels and fruits. These become infused with mycelium spores in the leaf litter. The Wood Mouse poops out mycelium pellets, thereby distributing essential fungi that allows the trees to connect to the Wood Wide Web. Can you help our Wood Mouse with their important job?

We enjoyed imagining the trees’ personalities and thinking about what they are “discussing”. We are astounded by the level of organisation between the trees. From the ability to sound the alarm when insects attack to distributing nutrients consciously for the combined health of the overall forest. There are complex and long-lasting parent and child tree relationships, and networks of mutual support, allowing trees to drop their seeds in unison to provide the best conditions for the next generation. 

7 July to 17 September 2023

Wakehurst Botanical Gardens

Designed and made @ Creative Twerton