Worcestershire Record No. 25 November 2008 p. 26


Becky Lashley, Ancient Tree Project Officer

We now have nearly 2250 records on the ancient tree register which is a fantastic reflection of the hard work that so many volunteers have put into the project. Not all of the records we have are truly ancient trees, some are simply fully mature and ‘interesting’ from a wildlife or landscape context whist not yet having reached a great age. I have started the process of going through the records to attempt to categorise them in terms of their ‘ancientness’ using criteria outlined in the Veteran Tree Management Handbook. This is not a straightforward process and is subject to much subjective interpretation! Maiden pedunculate oak are being looked at first as these are arguably the ‘best fit’ to the criteria in the Handbook. I am trying not to think about how other species and lapsed pollards can be dealt with!

We are organising a veteran tree survey day on Bredon Hill on 21st February. We have been given permission to look at the whole of the Kemerton Estate and so will be starting here in the areas with known veteran tree interest but so far no recording. If sufficient people are interested in taking part and if time allows we also hope to cover other areas running north up onto the top of the hill. If you would like more details about the day please get in touch. It is a field day rather than a training course and so is aimed at those with some tree-recording experience already but novices will not be turned away. Groups will be arranged so that each contains both experienced tree recorders and people that know the area.

Those of you with keen memories will know that funding for the project is all too quickly running out. The original HLF bid gave us funding until the end of March 2009, which sadly is fast approaching. We have been looking around at how we can develop the project to attract more funding and make best use of all the data we (and John and Harry and others before us) have collected. We will certainly be putting in more applications to funders for a new project and will keep you posted via the Worcestershire Record.

Becky Lashley, Worcestershire Biological Records Centre, 01905 759759, becky@wbrc.org.uk

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