This month on The Geographical Podcast, we review the role of exploration in the modern day. Going out into the world’s wildernesses or performing extraordinary feats of endurance have long been opportunities to inspire and educate. In the latest issue of Geographical, Matt Maynard asks what standard we should hold modern-day explorers to in the wake of the climate and environmental crises. The long-read is professionally narrated here by Simon Paisley-Day.
In the second half of the podcast we turn our attention to a beloved tree species. Elms were once an important part of the British landscape. But the arrival of Dutch elm disease in the aftermath of the First World War and again in the 1970s decimated them. Around 25 million elms, accounting for 90 per cent of all elm trees in the UK, died during the 1960s and 1970s. Robert Somerville is a carpenter whose back-to-basics approach to barn building is the subject of his new book – Barn Club. Robert works with elms, which may seem strange given their status, however he is convinced that working with wood can offer a much more sustainable way of building.