Worcestershire Record No. 22 April 2007 pp. 3-4
We are delighted to announce that Worcestershire Recorders have been awarded a grant of up to £50,000 for a two year project to encourage awareness and the understanding of Ancient trees in Worcestershire. The aim is to undertake parish surveys of ancient trees and to build on the database developed by volunteers over the last few years. To run the Project a half-time Project Officer (PO) will be appointed in June 2007. Their main objectives will be to recruit and train volunteers to carry out surveys of ancient trees, and to organise a programme of talks, workshops, school and parish visits promoting the project. In doing so the PO will work closely with the Worcestershire Recorders Committee and the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre (WBRC). The results of the survey will be stored on a database at the WBRC, appear on the web site, and be available to local authorities, conservationists and others. Survey results will also be sent to the national Tree Register.
In more detail
The Project runs from April 2007 to April 2009 covering two winters of recording
This project builds on work undertaken by volunteers over the last five years and organised by Harry Green and John Tilt for Worcestershire Recorders. During this time over 1,000 ancient trees have been located and details of each tree have been recorded and entered on to a database managed by John Tilt. Digital images have been obtained of most trees. This work is dependent on volunteers and many people have already taken part in recording. Records have been received from many part of Worcestershire but recording effort has been geographically uneven. We are aware of parts of the county containing interesting trees which are not yet recorded. The new project will initiate parish by parish surveys through contacting and involving local people and other volunteers, and aim for complete coverage of the county.
Ancient trees are important features of Worcestershire’s landscape because of their striking appearance, historical relevance, and their importance for wildlife. In particular the decaying wood of old trees supports many rare and important invertebrates. Nationally over 1700 species of invertebrates are associated with decaying wood.
An important part of the project is to involve local people and to raise their awareness and appreciation of ancient trees as part of landscape history and heritage. Part of the work of the project officer will be to make contacts with local people and to encourage and help them to find and record the trees. Contact will be made to parish councils, local schools, landowners and other interested individuals to involve them in the work. Local support is essential and should also lead to care and conservation of ancient trees.
The Worcestershire’s Ancient Trees project already works closely with the national Ancient Tree Forum and the national database of ancient trees organised by the Woodland Trust. Nationwide there are many schemes recording ancient trees but as far as we are aware this is the first attempt at full county coverage,
Summary of some of the main points within the successful grant application
|To enable people to discover their cultural and natural landscape heritage and biodiversity by recording ancient trees in their parish|
|There will be a Project officer (PO) and the grant supports the purchase of essential equipment.|
|The PO will develop and run events/activities for local people to raise awareness and give training to volunteers on ancient tree recording.|
|The Worcestershire Register of Ancient Trees database will be developed further.|
|Local people will be encouraged to celebrate and document ancient trees especially in their own parish.|
|Information on ancient trees will be dispersed through publications and events to show that ancient trees are the oldest things in the local landscape and of great ecological importance|
|The scheme will encourage the protection and good management of ancient trees|
|The PO and Worcestershire Recorders will work with local people eg tree wardens and parish councillors.|
|The PO will organise events including training on tree identification, recording, and mapping.|
|Volunteers will take part alongside professional and volunteer conservationists.|
|Publicity will be given through volunteer networks, local media and a website.|
|Contact will be made to local school contacts to encourage participation in the project|
|The project will link with the Woodland Trust, the Ancient Tree Forum and local National Trust properties|
Organisation of the Project
|The Project will be overseen by the Worcestershire Recorders Committee|
|The Project Officer will work from the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre office under day to day management of Manager Simon Wood, and working closely with Harry Green and John Tilt on behalf of Worcestershire Recorders.|
|The Project will be guided by a Steering Group comprising Simon Wood (Manager WBRC), Geoff Trevis (Chairman WBRC Board, Chairman Worcestershire Recorders, Committee, Hon Sec Worcestershire Wildlife Trust), Wade Muggleton (Worcestershire County Council Countryside Services), Harry Green & John Tilt (originators of the Worcestershire Register of Ancient Trees).|
Worcestershire Recorders are very grateful to many people and organisations for financial and other support:
|Worcestershire County Council Countryside Service|
|Worcestershire County Council|
|Worcestershire County Council Historic Environment and Archaeology Service|
|Woodland Trust, the Ancient Tree Forum, and the national Tree Register (Jill Butler)|
|Worcestershire Wildlife Trust|
|Worcestershire Biodiversity Partnership|
|Worcestershire Biological Records Centre|
|Neil McLean – independent Arboriculturalist and ancient tree expert.|
|Himbleton First School|
|St Barnabas First & Middle School Drakes Broughton|
|Stoke Prior First School|
In preparing this project we have received help from many people especially Jill Butler of the Ancient Tree Forum and Becky Lashley who undertook the hard graft of preparing the application forms to HLF. Grateful thanks to everyone – may your support continue through the Project!
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