Why Has A Tree Of Beer Cans Appeared In Norwood Junction?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 13 months ago

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Last Updated 06 April 2023

Why Has A Tree Of Beer Cans Appeared In Norwood Junction?
A bus drives by a tree covered in beer cans
The Tree of Beer Cans (2023) by Norwood JunKAction. Image: Ali Mehdi Zaidi

There is no magic money tree — the Tories have made that abundantly clear. There is, however, a 'Tree of Beer Cans' just outside Norwood Junction station.

Over 1,000 beers cans (empty, we should point out) have been attached to a tree in Belgrave Car Park, behind Norwood Junction station in south London. It's the handiwork of Norwood JunKAction, a group of litter pickers with a difference — with the rubbish they collect in any given area, they're creating a thought-provoking sculpture. And this is their head-turning debut.

A man tips out a shopping trolley full of empty cans
One car park — over 1,000 beer cans. Image: Dror Shohet

That's right, every single on of these cans was sourced from one car park; now forming a temporary bark of Tyskie and Magners containers, they are quite the statement — one not only highlighting local littering issues, but deep-rooted societal problems too.

Tree of beer cans
The Tree of Beer Cans is only around till 25 April. Image: Ali Mehdi Zaidi

Norwood JunKAction hope the sculpture will ignite conversation in South Norwood — questions like: What is our individual, collective and institutional responsibility when littering is such a widespread problem? Why do we fail to look after nature? How can we protect the most vulnerable in our community?

Volunteers stringing cans on wire
We can expect more Norwood JunKAction sculptures soon. Image: Dror Shohet

Btw, if you're thinking that glueing a load of junk to a tree hardly seems environmentally friendly, know that Norwood JunKAction volunteers strung the cans together with wire, before carefully wrapping them around the tree, and that no harm has been caused. The sculpture will be dismantled on 25 April 2023. But another one is sure to spring up soon after.

You can discover more about Norwood JunKAction — and sign up to take part in future projects — by visiting their website.