Forestry Commission logo
NEWS RELEASE No: 1649725 MARCH 2015

World class conifer collection highlights internationally endangered trees through photography

This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.
Guardians of the Areng Valley photography exhibition

Press and photo opportunity – 10.00 on 22 April 2015: Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest Staff and the Forestry Commission’s Arts Development Team will available for interview about the exhibition and the work of the National Pinetum. Please register interest with

The Forestry Commission’s world class conifer collection at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Kent, will this April unveil an award-winning outdoor environmental photography exhibition highlighting internationally endangered trees.

Displayed from 23 April until 6 September 2015, the photographs, titled Guardians of the Areng Valley, by artist Luke Duggleby celebrate the endangered trees of Southwest Cambodia’s remote Cardamom Forest.

Luke Duggleby is the winner of the inaugural Forestry Commission England Exhibition Award, part of the annual Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year Awards. The competition is an international showcase for the best in environmental film and photography. Winners of the Forestry Commission England Exhibition Award have the opportunity to exhibit their work in Forestry Commission locations across the country.

The exhibition at Bedgebury focuses on the rapid forest destruction which threatens critically endangered species and indigenous forest communities. The pictures highlight a growing environmental movement pioneered by Buddhist monks to raise awareness and help communities fight against further destruction of forest eco-systems. 

Duggleby’s photographs show how these Buddhist monks highlight endangered trees by wrapping them in symbolic bright orange fabric.

Replicating the scenes captured by Duggleby, the team at Bedgebury will tie orange cloth around ten trees in the Pinetum’s conifer collection that are listed as endangered in the wild. These trees will remain highlighted by the orange cloth for the duration of the exhibition.

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest plays an internationally important role in the understanding, scientific advancement and conservation of conifer species, many of which are rare and endangered. The Pinetum contains around a third of the world’s most endangered conifer species and six Plant Heritage National Collections (yew, juniper, Thuja, Lawson’s cypress, Leyland cypress and Cryptomeria) as well as some of the oldest and largest examples of conifers in Britain.

By following Bedgebury’s summer trail, which ties in with the photography exhibition, visitors will be able to find out more about the Forestry Commission’s important tree conservation work at this site.

More information about the exhibition can be found at or


Notes to Editor

High resolution images available showing the exhibition in situ at a previous location, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria.

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Further information can be found at

2. Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest in the High Weald of Kent is the perfect place for healthy outdoor activity. Home to the National Conifer Collection, Bedgebury National Pinetum is recognised as one of the most complete collections of conifers on one site anywhere in the world, and contains over 12,000 tree specimens growing across 320 acres including rare, endangered and historically important specimens. The Pinetum contains around a third of the worlds most endangered conifer species, and six Plant Heritage National collections (yew, juniper, Thuja, Lawson’s cypress, Leyland cypress and Cryptomeria) as well as some of the oldest and largest examples of conifers in Britain. Open all year, Bedgebury Forest covers around 20,000 square metres of forest and offers facilities for people of all ages and abilities for walking, family cycling, mountain biking, an adventure play area which is themed around the great plant-hunters of the Victorian era, Go Ape, and horse riding, creating one of South East England’s premier sites for healthy outdoor activity. For visitor information, please call 01580 879820 or visit E-mail enquiries:

3. Environmental Photographer of the Year was launched in 2007 by CIWEM, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management. The Environmental Photographer of the Year competition was created to enable photographers to share images of environmental and social issues with international audiences, and to enhance our understanding of the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change and social inequality. It is now one of the fastest growing photographic competitions in the world. The Environmental Photographer of the Year is generously sponsored by Atkins. Throughout their history from post-war regeneration to high-speed rail and the integrated sustainable cities of the future their people’s breadth and depth of expertise and drive to ask why has allowed them to plan, design and enable some of the world’s most complex projects.

4. Yorkshire born photographer Luke Duggleby has been working in Asia since 2004. He regularly travels the continent and further afield shooting assignments for some of the worlds most respected publications and NGOs. His images have featured in many respected photography competitions and have been published by clients ranging from The Sunday Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, Greenpeace, Monocle and The New York Times.

Media Contacts:

Forestry Commission England:

Sandra Styles, Bedgebury Marketing and Events, or 0300 067 4475.   

Katrina Podlewska, Senior PR and Partnerships Officer, or 0300 0674030.