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31st October 2019

A Month of Trees and People (or tree people, as Ted Green calls you all)

Laura Alcock-Ferguson with Clare de Villeneuva and Paul Hewitt from NT Wallington, Northumberland, for the ATF’s autumn field visit.  Photo credit: Elizabeth Hallissey, National Trust Wallington

“The reasons trees grow are both natural and social, but where they grow and are allowed to remain depends not so much on forest ecology as upon processes of political economy”

  • Nikolas Heynen (with thanks to John Parker from Arb Association for this quote)

In my first month as CEO of the ATF I have visited beautiful hollow crab-apple veteran trees at Wallington NT, Northumberland; the site of this country’s basis in parliamentary democracy at the Ankerwyke Yew at Runnymede; and I have marvelled at the hunkering-down ancient oaks and beautiful old lime trees at Windsor Great Park.

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26th July 2016

The ATF welcomes its new Chair

Russell Miller and tree cropped

Russell Miller, the new Chair of the Ancient Tree Forum, introduces himself and sets out his hopes for the future of the charity

I was very excited when I discovered the Ancient Tree Forum and attended my first field meeting. It was like joining a group of like-minded friends I didn’t know I had. I was therefore intrigued when ATF advertised for a new chair and very honoured to be asked to try and fill Brian Muelaner’s shoes.

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17th May 2016

My time at the top

by Brian Cleckner

Brian Muelaner

Brian Muelaner reflects on his six years leading the Ancient Tree Forum, in advance of stepping down as Chair at July’s summer forum, when Russell Miller will take on the role.

It’s hard to believe that it’s six years since I ‘volunteered’ to take on the role of Chair for the ATF.  I remember a conversation I had with Neville Fay shortly before becoming Chair, as if it were yesterday.  Nev had been chairing the ATF since time began, so naturally I turned to him to get some idea of what level of commitment I was letting myself in for. Nev kindly reassured me that all that it was more of a figurehead, and only involved chairing the two board meetings each year and writing the odd letter or two and the Chair’s annual report to Companies house.  And for some reason I believed him!

It turned out to involve a little more than that, but it’s been an incredible honour and privilege and one of the most fulfilling roles with which I’ve had the good fortune to be involved.  What’s been achieved over the past six years is quite mind boggling, all made possible by a massive team effort. One of the great strengths of the ATF is the enthusiasm, knowledge, skills and commitment of its extended board, the Trustees, the Co-opted members and our limited staff.

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