Aug 11 2020

Ancient Tree Verifiers | August Update


Dear Ancient Tree Verifiers


I hope you are all keeping well.


Apologies that I have not been in touch with an update for a few weeks (is it just me or is the summer flying by?!).


Ancient Tree Research Project Update:


I am going to keep this update fairly brief. First of all, I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has been engaging with the PhD research project surveys. The response so far has been really great and we have even had a few surveys completed already with some interesting trees found (see images below of an ancient rowan recorded by Ros Evans and an ancient ash recorded by Gareth Bowen!).



I am aware of at least 10 verifiers who have expressed an interest in getting involved who haven’t been contacted yet with a survey to complete. This is because in the original cohort of surveys, none of them were located within reasonable range.


However, if you are one of these people then I have not forgotten you and will definitely find a way for you to assist with this project – thank you very much for offering your support!


For interest, I have also included a map of the survey locations too. If there is a location on this map that you would be willing to travel to and you wish to take part then let me know and I can send across the details to you.

Survey locations for the ancient tree PhD research project


There will also be a talk taking place on 18thAugust at 1900 – 2000 from me and Vicky Nolan (PhD researcher) to explain more about the research project and the surveys that we are doing.

The aim of this talk will be to recruit some new support for a second round of surveys that we are planning and to provide some introductory ancient tree ID tips. There wont be any new material here that verifiers wont already know but you are more than welcome to come along to hear about the project!


You can book a place onto the talk using this link:



How did the ATI do in lockdown?


Some of you may be wondering how ancient tree recording may have been affected during lockdown.


Whilst some parts of our lives were placed on pause during lockdown, this was definitely not the case for the ATI, which saw a spike in activity compared to the same time last year.


In fact, nearly double the number of verifications took place in March-July 2020 compared with March-July 2019. This is all down to your time and effort spent in working through spreadsheets of data, recording local trees and verifying trees based on the available data/images that had been uploaded from recorders. I cant thank you enough for keeping the ATI running during this period and I am really pleased that you have continued to engage with the project this year!


For general interest, I have produced a table which helps to compare 2020 with 2019; the figures shown are for the same period in both years.


March 23rd 2019 – July 21st 2019 March 23rd 2020 – July 21st 2020 Difference
Verified trees


Includes verification of trees which have been on the site as unverified (including pre-lockdown). This also includes trees which have been re-verified as part of data revision.

2940 5,239 +2,299
New trees recorded within lockdown period (including trees yet to be verified) 2,858 3,860 +1002
Number of recorders and volunteer verifiers


Total number of recorders and verifiers who added at least 1 tree in this period.

236 343 +107
Number of people who registered a new ATI account in this period 359 469 +110



This just goes to show how important local walks can be for finding new trees to record and engaging with living history on your doorstep.


Volunteering at the Woodland Trust – group recording


At present, our position on group volunteering remains the same, in that we have been able to resume all volunteering that can be carried out alone or in pairs, but for now we are unable to resume volunteering in groups. Volunteer safety is a top priority for the Woodland Trust and we appreciate your patience with this.

Unfortunately, we may be unlikely to be able to run many (or any) group events for ancient trees this year. However, the Woodland Trust is due to re-assess this in September and if there are any changes then I will of course let you know.

To compensate for the lack of events this year, I thought that it could be interesting to embrace the digital age of “zoom” and arrange the first volunteer verifier video conference! This idea is its early stages yet, however could be an ideal way to keep in touch in autumn/winter… more details to follow at a later date!


In the meantime, I think the table above demonstrates just how many ancient and veteran trees are still out there waiting to be discovered on local walks and local ancient tree hotspots.

It is also highly recommended that you take a look at what has already been recorded in the past too, as many of these trees will benefit from a second visit (e.g. to update the girth measurement or to add extra images or update their standing status).


Thank you so much again for everything that you are doing to help keep the ATI going this year!


Finally, Tree of The Year public voting is due to start at the end of August! Don’t forget to take a look at this year’s nominations and spend some time getting inspired by this collection of special trees.


Take care everyone and do keep in touch!

Best wishes


(Ancient Tree Inventory Citizen Science Officer)

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