Bristol 'printing press bike' maps city's oldest trees

By Nathan Heath
BBC News

  • Published
The Printing Bike at BroadmeadImage source, The Natural History Consortium
Image caption,
The Printing Bike features a letterpress made in the 1930s

A bike which carries a fully-functioning printing press has been producing guide maps showing a city's oldest trees.

The Printing Bike was cycled into Broadmead, in Bristol, as part of a festival celebrating nature.

It is part of a "pop-up forest" exhibition, highlighting the importance of urban tree cover in the city.

"While we rush around like crazy, trees are just calm and serene," said Nick Hand, Printing Bike owner.

The exhibition in Broadmead is running a range of activities that hope to "engage the public with nature".

"Trees are all around us and we know so little about them. I became obsessed with the old veteran trees during the lockdown and went to seek them out on my bicycle," Mr Hand said.

Image source, The Letterpress Collective
Image caption,
The guide map shows cycling routes around Bristol's oldest trees

The printmaker teamed up with Robin Mather, who builds bespoke bikes, to design and build The Printing Bike in 2014. The machine holds a letterpress printing press.

"The Printing Bike, which I used to print the maps, was created out of a love of cycling and printing and sort of putting them together," added Mr Hand.

Image source, The Letterpress Collective
Image caption,
Some long journeys have been made on the bike, including Bristol to Germany

The exhibition is part of The Festival of Nature, a celebration of the natural world that takes place in Bristol and Bath every summer, run by The Natural History Consortium (NHC).

Image source, NHC
Image caption,
Visitors can learn how to create, protect and explore woodlands and forests

Izzy Pulletz from NHC said: " The exhibition will invite the public to look consciously at the trees around them, they may be surprised by what they see, and are naturally drawn towards.

"Visitors are encouraged to explore the diversity of native trees around Bristol and the stories they tell about the city."

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