Worcestershire Record No. 24 April 2008  pp. 5-6

THE WORCESTERSHIRE ANCIENT TREE PROJECT

Becky Lashley. Ancient Tree Project Officer, 01905 759759, becky@wbrc.org.uk

Ancient tree records are now coming in thick and fast from people all over the county who are taking part in the project. The number of trees entered onto the Register has now reached 1474 and I have records waiting to be put on that I am sure will tip us over the 1500 mark. This is a fantastic achievement by all the volunteers taking part in the project, and a great total with which to celebrate the projects first birthday in July. We set ourselves a target of having surveyed and recorded 2000 trees by the time the Lottery money runs out in April 2009 and we are well on the way to doing that! A list of the current top 20 trees (by size of girth) with photographs of the biggest three is shown below.

Tree

Parish

Species

Girth (m)

Tree form

Hollow

203A

ASTLEY AND DUNLEY

PEDUNCULATE OAK

12.75

NATURAL POLLARD

HOLLOW

92A

HANBURY

PEDUNCULATE OAK

10.9

LAPSED POLLARD

HOLLOW

208A

FINSTALL

PEDUNCULATE OAK

10.4

LAPSED POLLARD

HOLLOW TRUNK

31A

BEWDLEY

SWEET CHESTNUT

9.6

MAIDEN

SOLID

66A

CROOME D'ABITOT

PEDUNCULATE OAK

9

LAPSED POLLARD

HOLLOW

53A

ELMLEY CASTLE

PEDUNCULATE OAK

8.8

MAIDEN

SOLID

70A

HARTLEBURY

PEDUNCULATE OAK

8.8

MAIDEN

SOLID

215A

ALFRICK

COMMON LIME

8.6

LAPSED POLLARD

SOLID

244G

LITTLE MALVERN

COMMON ALDER

8.6

COPPICED

HOLLOW TRUNK

312A

ALVECHURCH

SESSILE OAK

8.4

COPPARD

SOLID

132C

ARROW WITH WEETHLEY

PEDUNCULATE OAK

8.25

LAPSED POLLARD

SOLID

243B

LITTLE MALVERN

SESSILE OAK

8.12

MAIDEN

HOLLOW TRUNK

120A

EARL'S CROOME

PEDUNCULATE OAK

8

LAPSED POLLARD

HOLLOW

107A

LITTLE MALVERN

PEDUNCULATE OAK

7.95

LAPSED POLLARD

 

8F

BERROW

PEDUNCULATE OAK

7.8

LAPSED POLLARD

HOLLOW

16AE

BUSHLEY

PEDUNCULATE OAK

7.8

LAPSED POLLARD

HOLLOW

48B

CUTNALL GREEN

PEDUNCULATE OAK

7.8

LAPSED POLLARD

 

83J

KIDDERMINSTER FOREIGN

PEDUNCULATE OAK

7.8

MAIDEN

 

141E

BUSHLEY

COMMON LIME

7.8

COPPICED

PARTIALLY SOLID

53E

ELMLEY CASTLE

PEDUNCULATE OAK

7.7

MAIDEN

HOLLOW

Great Witley oak - 12.75 metres girth
Temple Oak, Broughton Green - 10.9 metres girth
Finstall oak - 10.4 metres girth

There is now a page on the WBRC website (www.wbrc.org.uk) dedicated to the ancient tree project and a spreadsheet of records is updated every month or so, with records sorted according to the parish within which they fall making it easy for tree recorders and other interested parties to see what has been recorded in their local area. This spreadsheet is now accompanied by interactive mapping, making good use of the free software available from Google Maps, that allows you to zoom in and out and move around the county to see where the trees are positioned John Partridge has put a lot of work into this, see his article in this issue for more information. Can I stress that many of the trees so far recorded are on private land and have been surveyed with the permission of the landowner. Inclusion on the database does not imply right of access for a closer look.

Work has also been going on in the WBRC office to validate the records inherited by the project and those contributed by current volunteers. This involves checking the accuracy of grid references by finding the trees on the aerial photographs. This work is almost complete and so we can also now begin to revisit those few records where a tree cannot be seen on the photograph!

Next recording season we are very keen to target the area of countryside stretching between Worcester and Tenbury. If you live in or visit this area and would be willing to help search out the ancient trees hiding within the woods and valleys we would be pleased to hear from you.

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