Nature and the Oxford Preservation Trust

Oxford Open Doors

Oxford Preservation Trust is delighted to bring you Oxford Open Doors 2020 over the weekend 12/13 September.  A celebration of Oxford across all walks of life, its places and its people, this is your chance to be a tourist in your own city.

We cannot open physical doors this year, as we want to keep you safe, so we have got creative, and this year Oxford Open Doors Goes Outside will be made up of a range of VIRTUAL talks, tours and videos for you to enjoy at your leisure throughout the weekend, and wherever you happen to be.  If you want to get out and about do take a look at our range of SELF-GUIDED WALKS exploring the city's green spaces, hidden heritage as well as a range of walks provided with thanks to our partners. 

See the full programme here


Could you be arrested for planting flowers in the street?

What guerilla gardening reveals about our relationship with urban nature & culture.

Dr Elizabeth Ewart, head of the School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford joins JC Niala, one of her doctoral students to discuss human beings relationship to nature in cities. Dr Ewart has an interest in the anthropology of everyday practices such as gardening. JC Niala's doctoral research focuses on urban gardeners in Oxford and she is interested in the what their everyday practice reveals about the way we live. Working with the case study of guerrilla gardeners who operate in cities such as London and Oxford they will explore the interactions between different types of gardeners that challenge commonly held assumptions about nature & culture.


Wildlife in the Anthropocene

Conservation After Nature: 

Jamie Lorimer (Associate Professor in Human Geography, University of Oxford) discusses his book with William Beinart (Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, University of Oxford), Daniel Grimley (Professor of Music, University of Oxford) and Nikolaj Lübecker (Associate Professor of French, University of Oxford). In Wildlife in the Anthropocene, Jamie Lorimer argues that the idea of nature as a pure and timeless place characterized by the absence of humans has come to an end. Offering a thorough appraisal of the Anthropocene—an era in which human actions affect and influence all life and all systems on our planet—Lorimer unpacks its implications for changing definitions of nature and the politics of wildlife conservation.


People's Landscapes: Living in Landscapes

A roundtable discussion explore landscape as a space for living, considering the pressures on land from population growth and discussing questions of preservation vs. development. 

People's Landscapes: Beyond the Green and Pleasant Land is a lecture series convened by the University of Oxford's National Trust Partnership, which brings together experts and commentators from a range of institutions, professions and academic disciplines to explore people's engagement with and impact upon land and landscape in the past, present and future. The National Trust cares for 248,000 hectares of open space across England, Wales and Northern Ireland; landscapes which hold the voices and heritage of millions of people and track the dramatic social changes that occurred across our nations' past. In the year when Manchester remembers the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre, the National Trust's 2019 People’s Landscapes programme is drawing out the stories of the places where people joined to challenge the social order and where they demonstrated the power of a group of people standing together in a shared place. Throughout this year the National Trust is asking people to look again, to see beyond the green and pleasant land, and to find the radical histories that lie, often hidden, beneath their feet. At the third event in the series, Living in Landscapes, panellists explore landscape as a space for living, considering the pressures on land from population growth, discussing questions of preservation vs. development, and asking: who should decide how we live in landscape?


Discovering the identity of plants in art

We are surrounded by artistic images of plants. These may be symbolic, decorative or functional. They tell us about the plants important in peoples' lives. Mount Vesuvius is thought to have begun erupting on 24 October AD 79. Almost two thousand years later, TORCH collaborated with the Ashmolean Museum for a special edition of After Hours to 'seize the day' (Ashmolean After Hours: Carpe Diem!) and celebrate all things Pompeii and ancient Rome, with bite-sized talks from students and researchers, and activities for all to enjoy. This event was part of the Humanities Cultural Programme.


The Dodo, Animal Icons, and De-Extinction

Dr Paul Jepson (Researcher at the School of Geography and Environment and Course Director for the MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management) gives a presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’, an event celebrating the life and legacy of the famous creature in collaboration between the Museum of Natural History and TORCH.