40,000 more trees available for health check
Observatree volunteers can now access English Heritage sites, meaning that 380 new locations can be surveyed for signs of tree pests and diseases.
The project launched in 2013, with the aim of training volunteers to identify pests and diseases that threatened the UK’s trees and woods. So far, 235 volunteers have been trained, 3,000 surveys have been completed, and over 1,000 cases of a priority tree pest and disease having been reported.
Christopher Weddell, Senior Gardens Adviser, English Heritage: “The Observatree programme is a valuable initiative and we are delighted for English Heritage sites to be included. We care for very special gardens and landscapes, many of which have notable historic trees and the assistance of the Observatree volunteers in working with us to spot early warning signs of significant tree pests and diseases on or around our sites is very welcome.”
Nicola Spence, Defra’s Chief Plant Health Officer: ‘’Citizen science projects like Observatree are playing a hugely valuable role in helping us build up our knowledge of our precious environment. Trees are threatened by disease and pests which is a growing concern for our wildlife, landscapes and economy. It’s fantastic that English Heritage is granting access to its sites to enable volunteers to gather more data to help us build up an even more accurate picture of the health of the nation’s trees.’’