Ancient Tree Inventory Volunteer Update | Summer 2021
Dear Ancient Tree Verifiers,
I hope you are well, and that you have all had an enjoyable time verifying trees for the ATI this summer. We’d like to take a moment to celebrate a handful of the most exciting finds of the season.
Highlights of the summer
- This magnificent oak was recorded to the ATI on 11th August by Aljos Farjon. It resides in Staverton Park, Suffolk – a medieval deer park and Site of Special Scientific Interest, rich in ancient trees. This oak boasts a girth of 7.39 metres and like many of the trees on the site, has a pollard form. With its great mass, this ancient oak is nearly split into two halves. The wonderful photographs provided by Aljos Farjon show the oak in its rather magical-looking setting surrounded by other impressive neighbours.
- This impressive common lime was recorded by Niamh Byrneon on 8th June at Duncombe Park, North Yorkshire. Thank you to the North-Yorkshire verifiers, Alan, Rosa, Dave and Alex who have supported the Ryevitalise partnership in recent months. It is a multistem specimen with a whopping girth of 9.1 metres. It is possible the tree is in fact more than one lime tree fused together, but the effect is stunning nonetheless. There is a den-like hollow inside the great trunk. A deer path leads up a gentle slope from the forest track where this tree becomes visible. Another example of how the parkland of historic estates are some of the best places to find ancient trees. This one is standing in the Castle Hill area which is managed by the Forestry Commission and is private.
- On 30th July, Keith Knight recorded this ancient ash on the site of the ruined Cessford castle in the Scottish borders. The tree is maiden form, with a girth of 3.93 m. The main stems have died back and a new, healthy crown has now formed. The trunk is hollow and eroded at the base. How many years have these historic companions, the ash and the castle watched one another age?
- Richard Hewison recorded this 5.15 metre girth oak on 11th A fantastic find, and a welcome addition to the Inventory. This veteran can be found along a green lane which cuts through a heavily arable landscape in the Scottish Borders. The old boundary oak is marked on Roy’s map of Lowland Scotland from the mid-1700s. Large trees which have survived as part of hedgerows, such as this one, are a precious resource for wildlife.
- This amazing specimen is estimated to have been felled 40-60 years ago but has regrown on one side and the new growth is looking pretty strong. Girth 6.35m. The tree is located near Llandinam, Powys and is known locally as the Gwerneiryn Oak. Recorded by Tyson Lamp on 2nd June 2021.
- Recorded on 7th June 2021 by Gethin Davies, near Old Radnor, Powys, this is an ancient hybrid sessile and English oak. The tree’s girth at the narrowest point is 3.91 metres, and the trunk is wonderfully hollow. This tree has a lapsed pollard form showing its historic importance as a managed resource for past generations of people in this area. It’s location beside a public footpath, south of Trewern farm, means people today can still enjoy marvelling at this giant.
This is just a small selection of the brilliant finds our ATI recorders have discovered this summer. A big thank you to everyone who has added a tree and helped grow the inventory.
In case you haven’t seen them yet, there are some new blogs on the ATI website which are perfect for a quick read with a good cuppa.
A brief update from the team working on the Green Recovery Challenge Fund https://ati.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2021/green-recovery-challenge-fund-update/
An overview of the enormous variety of life supported by ancient and veteran trees, written by Aidan Champion https://ati.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2021/the-importance-of-ancient-trees-for-wildlife-by-aidan-champion-ati-verifier/
The story of a Woodland Trust staff visit to a fantastic medieval parkland https://ati.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2021/recording-ancient-trees-at-grimsthorpe-castle/
Beauly Elm 3D Interactive Model
Thanks to Keith Knight for sharing this fascinating online tool which allows you to get up-close and personal with the Beauly Elm, via the power of a 3D model. The Beauly elm is thought to be the oldest elm tree in Europe. Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has laser-scanned the elm as part of work to document ancient Scottish trees. You can read more about the tree and this work in this BBC article.
Woodland Trust Volunteer Facebook group
A facebook group for Woodland Trust Volunteers has recently been launched, as a place where volunteers can keep in touch. We hope you will find it a useful way to communicate experiences, ask questions, air thoughts and ideas and much more. If you wish to join you can do so here. Please note this Facebook group is for all Woodland Trust volunteers, not just ATI volunteers.
New Tree of the Year voting system
Tree of the Year is the annual hunt to find the UK’s most treasured trees. In 2021 the competition is changing. This year, Tree of the Year is moving to a social media platform. Vote for your #TreeoftheWeek via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Full details can be found on the Woodland Trust website, but here is a summary of the new rules of the competition:
- Enter your tree for our weekly competition by midnight on Thursday each week.
- Share your tree with us in social media (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram) using #TreeoftheWeek and don’t forget to tag @WoodlandTrust.
- Tell us the location of your tree.
- Send us a photo of your tree. If your tree has a story, please share it with us too.
- Any type of trees can be entered – even dead ones.
As we’re a UK-based charity we’ll pick a weekly winner that is from the UK (so that we can then submit a UK-based tree to European Tree Of The Year), but if you want to share trees with us from elsewhere that’s okay – we’d still love to see them.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Tree of the Year’ as the subject line.
Hours and expenses please
A gentle reminder to please continue submitting your volunteer hours and expense claims. If anyone needs any help or guidance with this, please don’t hesitate to contact Tom Reed at email@example.com.
Finally, we will sign off with an enormous thank you for all of your hard work and continuing support for the project over the summer months and beyond. Your efforts have helped ensure some extremely special trees have the recognition they deserve. We wish you all well as we move into the autumn. As we all know there are many more ancient and veteran trees out there just waiting to be discovered and gain their rightful place on the inventory, so keep up the great work!
Tom Reed and Sally Bavin