Feb 10 2020

Ancient Tree Inventory | Verifier Update February 2020

Dear Ancient Tree Inventory Verifiers,

I hope that you have had an enjoyable time verifying trees for the ATI since our last update. Please see our latest update below.


2020 has already seen some impressive trees recorded to the ATI, and I am very excited to see what you find this year. But, I would also like to take a moment to look back at the successes of last year too – please see below a summary of what you achieved for the ATI in 2019.


In this newsletter I have also included some information about upcoming ATI events this year (with a few more in the pipeline too!). Please read below for more information about this.


As mentioned in my previous update, this year will see the completion of an exciting PhD project (ancient tree distribution modelling) that will help to predict the locations of ancient trees. We would be extremely grateful to have the support of the verifiers in helping us to carry out some simple ancient tree walking surveys, to count the number of ancient/veteran trees in specific defined areas. We have nearly completed our list of survey areas and will be in touch with the nearest verifiers to each of the survey areas individually to ask whether you will be able to help.


As always, I would like to use this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work in making the ATI a success.


With thanks



Ancient Tree Inventory Annual Review | 2019:


The results are in! Please see the latest blog on the ATI website with a yearly summary of what the ATI achieved in 2019 due to the hard work of it’s fabulous volunteers and recorders. I hope you can take as much pride and admiration in this great achievement as I do.



Headline figures:


8,117 trees recorded


85% of trees recorded in 2019 were verified (excellent work!)


156 different species recorded


867 new ancient tree records, across 46 different species!


533 trees with a girth>6m discovered!


The final result in this list is particularly interesting. We are still finding large trees even after over 15 years of recording, and there will still be many more out there waiting to be recorded!

Cant wait to see what we can achieve in 2020!

This summary was produced by David Alderman – many thanks again David for producing a detailed insight into the ATI records for 2019.


European Tree of The Year


Don’t forget to vote for European Tree Of The Year. This is a great opportunity to see some of the other fascinating trees that have been noted across Europe.


Excerpt from the website:

For ten years we have been searching for trees with the most interesting stories. Voting takes place from 1 to 29 February 2020. When voting, always select two trees. Votes in the last week (from 23 to 29 February) are secret, meaning that preliminary vote counts will not be available on the web page.


ATI events 2020


I am pleased to say that we have been busy creating a programme of ATI events for 2020 and are now looking to create a nice list of attendees to go with them!

This year we will have two types of event:

  • ATI training days – these will follow the format of a morning powerpoint session followed by an afternoon of recording. An ideal opportunity to boost your ancient tree knowledge.


  • ATI Recording Days – let’s record and verify as many great ancient/veteran tree records as we can in a day! No powerpoint, just straight into recording trees! A nice way to meet like-minded volunteers.


Ancient Tree Inventory Training Days 2020:

So far we have 7 ancient tree training days scheduled around the UK, and there may be more to follow! This is an opportunity to learn more about the ATI project and get some tips on how to verify ancient, veteran and notable trees.

Throughout last year, we have welcomed many new volunteers to the project, and even welcomed back some familiar faces too. It would be great to see you at one of these events, and we would strongly encourage you to come to one of them if you have not been before.


Many of you will have attended something similar in the past, however if you would be interested in having a refresher in how the ATI works, then you are more than welcome to come too.


Please contact ancienttreeinventory@woodlandtrust.org.uk to book a place on to one of these events.


Unfortunately we are unable to hold an event that is close to everyone, so a bit of travel may be needed for some of you. Please also note that we would like to encourage people to attend their nearest ATI training day where possible, rather than driving long journeys to visit a particular venue. This will really help us to keep our carbon footprint down, and will be better for the ATI travel budget too J

If your return journey will be greater than 60 miles then please let Tom know (email at ancienttreeinventory@woodlandtrust.org.uk). Many thanks.



Training Dates: (more details of each event to follow soon!)


Duncombe Park, Helmsley – Thursday 23rd April

National Trust Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth – Saturday 25th April

Forest of Bowland (venue tbc) – Wednesday 13th May

Burghley House, nr Peterborough – Saturday 16th May

National Trust Croft Castle, Yarpole, Leominster – Friday 19th June

Richmond Park, Richmond, London – Tuesday 23rd June

Savernake Forest, Marlborough – Thursday 16th July




Plus, a training day led by volunteer verifier Vanessa Champion!:

Finsthwaite Village Hall, near Newby Bridge, 10am – 4pm – Saturday 21st March – please contact ancienttreeinventory@woodlandtrust.org.uk to book a place


And, a training day led by lead verifier Alan Hunton too!:

Harewood House, near Harrogate – Thursday 30th April – please contact ancienttreeinventory@woodlandtrust.org.uk to book a place



Ancient tree recording events – more to follow!:

Tring Park, nr Aylesbury  – 11am – 3pm – Saturday 21st March – please contact ancienttreeinventory@woodlandtrust.org.uk to book a place

Glen Finglas  – 30th/31st May – please contact Matilda Scharsach (MatildaScharsach@woodlandtrust.org.uk) to book a place

Glamis Castle – Saturday 6th June – book your place here: https://woodlandtrusttickets.cloudvenue.co.uk/GlamisVol



Dave Kenny’s Tree of the Month: The Scot’s Farm Oak


This ancient oak, that is well-known by locals, is accompanied by an old barn that creates a beautiful rural scene full of character and history. Photo credit: Clive Ormonde

“The Scot’s Farm oak is a well known landmark tree which is known to many walkers in this part of the Chilterns. The ATI historic map shows it to be at the junction of several footpaths.

Scots farm itself is an ancient building in private ownership, I dont’ know anything of its history, but its currently being renovated. I wouldn’t be surprised if the oak tree predates the farm; its grown right up against an old barn.

The tree is probably considerably older than the 400 years mentioned on this web page. Its totally hollow right up to the top of the tree, with a huge opening which is visible from the other side of the tree away from the road. its just a hollow shell really, which still supports much live growth.”

See the tree on the ATI here

Dave Kenny – Volunteer Lead Verifier







Helen Leaf’s Tree of the Month


One of Sherwood forest’s incredible oaks; not just a tree, but a living ecosystem adorned with lichens, mosses, fungi and other epiphytes!

“This amazing tree is one of the many trees in Sherwood Forest that are still being recorded for the ATI , that up until now have been ‘unknown’. It’s in the Forestry England part of the forest, so has quite a different surroundings  – it has been haloed, so is in its own clearing in the middle of dense birch growth. You could easily walk nearby and not know it’s there, which makes the discover even more special.

The tree seems huge. There will be trees that are larger (it’s 5.9m at 1m high) but this tree has so many things going on that it takes a while to really consider everything that the tree is doing.

Not many of the original branches remain, and those that are present are short and stubby. The top of the trunk has also gone. But the tree has grown epicormic branches, and the trunk is a complex mixture of moss-covered wood, healed-over living sections of bark, small and large cavities, more moss, lichen, ferns, brambles and a young birch tree. Dead branches are on the ground, some of the wood of the trunk is charred from an old forest fire, and there are many invertebrate holes.

Given that it has been haloed, it has full access to light and can grow as it pleases.”

Helen Leaf – Volunteer Verifier, Sherwood region.









The Oak Tree That Taught The World A Lesson: Video

Interesting video about an interesting oak at Kew that had a big influence after the great storm of 1987:



Expenses & Timesheet Reminder

Thank you for sending through your expenses and timesheets last month.


Everyone should have now have the latest copy of the expenses form (the version with “Tom Reed” as volunteer manager noted at the top of the page). Please email ancienttreeinventory@woodlandtrust.org.uk if you need a copy of the expense claim form.

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