Tree Of Light Projects Begins

30 September 2011, 05:00 | Updated: 30 September 2011, 07:25

School children in the Thames Valley are learning how important trees are to our planet as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

40 schools and community groups in Reading, Oxford, Henley and Windsor have signed up to the Tree of Light project.

It's 1 of 4 projects celebrating the local community to have been given £1.2 million funding by the Legacy Trust UK.

At the heart of the project is a massive sculpture of a tree that will be lit up with LED lights powered by cyclists and rowers.

Through October scientists will be teaching the groups about trees. They'll use what they learn and turn it into a choreographed show to be performed in the four areas next summer.

Stewart Collins runs the Henley Festival. He came up with the idea and is the Artistic Director:

"Each of the groups will go and discover something about a tree in their area - whether it's an aspect of its history, an aspect of its nature or an aspect of its science.

"They'll create this story which will be put up on our website and from that website we're going to pull all the material off and create this performance, sort of music theatre piece if you like, but it's much grander than that."

It's a joint project by CIAO Festival, Henley Festival, Oxford Inspires and Windsor Festival.

Around 1500 people will take part in the project in all and it's planned the Tree of Light be part of the 2012 celebrations in London during the Games.