Workshop session in progress

Landowners, rural agents and land managers gathered in Corby last month to attend our first Veteran Tree Management Workshop which aimed to improve understanding of the issues and opportunities that these trees present.

The workshop covered a range of issues, including how landowners could identify veteran trees and manage them correctly, as well as discussing protection and funding opportunities.

A veteran tree is defined as a tree that is of interest biologically, culturally or aesthetically because of its age, size or condition. The UK has more veteran trees than most other countries in northern Europe. They are considered an important part of our landscape as well as useful indicators of past land management and use.

The event included three workshop sessions and presentations by our two arboricultural experts Stephen Westmore and Shaun Phillips who explained the veteran tree’s value to the environment and the management options available to landowners.

“Veteran trees are arguably one of the UK’s most valuable natural assets, offering a range of environmental, social and cultural benefits,” explains Stephen. “However, the management of these stalwarts of the landscape is not always straightforward, especially when there is a conflict between the requirements of efficient land management and the need to provide a public benefit through positive management of natural assets.”

Delegates came from a variety of backgrounds and feedback was very positive. One attendee commented “From knowing little about trees, I have learnt a great deal.”

The session concluded with five take home messages:

  • Not all veteran trees are ancient, however all ancient trees are veterans;
  • Veteran trees are exceptionally important for biodiversity, heritage and culture;
  • Long-term planning should be considered for any management options;
  • Protection measures should be considered before works are undertaken; and
  • Seek advice from relevant professionals.

“We are confident that everyone found it a productive and informative day,” adds John Lockhart, Chairman. “This workshop is just one of a series of events that we have run throughout 2017 and on into 2018 to support those working in all areas of land management, forestry and the environment.”

Details of further workshops will be posted on our website in early 2018.  If you would like to express your interest in these events early, then please email Victoria Sherbourne, Marketing Executive, [email protected]

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