Almost ten years ago now I sat down at my desk one October morning and wrote picture book.

That story was The Promise, inspired in part by another story The Man Who Planted Trees and informed by the research I had been doing on the influence of trees in urban environments, how they soften the effects of climate change, reduce the need for air conditioning and improve mental health and well being.

The Promise was published in 2013 with illustrations by Laura Carlin. It has been a quiet global hit, translated into many languages across the world,  winning prizes and gaining many loyal fans.

Of all the 60 plus books I’ve written, it’s the one I return to again and again, because the message it carries is the core of what I want to do with my work: connect people with nature and make them see that every one of us has the power to change the world for the better.

Now it’s going to be an animated film. One of the book’s loyal fans is Chi Thai a brilliant film director who has championed the book and won a BBC commission to make it into a film. Along the way it’s gained more supporters, The Doc Society and CIFFhttp:// who have placed their faith in the story and helped to enlarge our ambition for what the film might achieve. So when the film goes live on BBC online on Oct 16th it will be backed by a campaign to turn the inspirational message of the story into action. We plan to trigger  programme of tree planting and nature reconnection in urban areas We already have 300 plus schools who have signed up to screen the film and receive the screening pack with extra information, resources and videos and we are teaming up with partner organisations in cities across the UK.

Part of that expanding program of green inspiration, is our plan to donate thousands of books to children who need them most, in urban schools in nature deprived areas. Walker Books, my UK publisher, have allowed us to buy up to 3000 copies of The Promise at cost, £3. So Chi has set up a crowdfunder to raise the money to buy the books. We’re using social media to reach out to find the schools who need these books most.

My friend Jackie Morris has been a massive help, selling beautiful small inked otters, cats and foxes through her website. They sold in just three days and raised £2000. 

Now I’m offering some incentives to donating too. You can pay for the original images, prints and books on sale here by donating the asking price to The Promise Crowdfunder. Here’s how it works

1)Choose what you want

2)E mail me to check if the work you have chosen is still available.

3)Donate the asking price to THE PROMISE CROWDFUNDER and e mail me proof of your donation together with your address and I’ll post your chosen thing.


This is the collaged rhino that I made while I was illustrating my picture book LAST – published yesterday and doing its own fundraising for Helping Rhinos  

Original artwork, ink collage and paint, by me £150
Signed book Bundle £50
Mark Hearld Print, framed, unsigned £180

Mark Hearld Print signed, dedicated to me and framed  £250
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