Home Gardening news Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees

Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees

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Dame Judi Dench. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions
Dame Judi Dench. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions

TV special, BBC One, December 20, 8pm-9pm

Dame Judi Dench is one of Britain’s best-loved actresses. However, apart from stage and screen, the Oscar-winning actress has another great passion – a deep love for trees.

This one-hour special, filmed during the course of a year, is a study of the changing seasons and their effect on Judi’s own secret woodland at her home in Surrey.

Judi has long been fascinated with trees, sharing her passion for them with her late husband, the actor Michael Williams.

Dame Judi Dench and David Mills. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions/Gary Moyes
Dame Judi Dench and David Mills. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions/Gary Moyes

Nurtured woodland

Together they nurtured their woodland at their home and for the past seven years, she has continued to care for her grove with her close companion, wildlife enthusiast David Mills.

Throughout this time, Judi has planted trees for friends and family who have passed away.

This film follows Judi’s journey through the seasons and her mission to understand her woodland’s vital role in our history and our future.

Snowdrops in Dame Judi's woodland. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions/James Manisty
Snowdrops in Dame Judi’s woodland. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions/James Manisty

Secret lives of trees

With the help of tree scientists and historians, Judi unlocks the remarkable secret lives of trees and the stories that they tell us.

Through amazing research, we learn more about how trees can communicate and contribute to the forest, sharing resources with seedlings or the vulnerable.

It’s confirmation for Judi that there’s so much more to the trees she loves: they are a real community that helps each other, humans and the planet.

Dame Judi's spring woodland. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions
Dame Judi’s spring woodland. Picture; BBC/Atlantic Productions
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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