Home > Events > Valuing and managing veteran trees: A 3-day course for trainers, Essex

Tuesday 8th December to Thursday 10th December 2015

Valuing and managing veteran trees: A 3-day course for trainers, Essex

Location: Gilwell Park, Essex

Epping VETree

A three day advanced training event designed by the VETree project and delivered by the Ancient Tree Forum

About the course

The object of the course is to train people, who will in turn be able to deliver a one day course called ‘Valuing and managing Veteran Trees’.  Participants will be given all the material needed to deliver the one day course including presentations and handouts. The course is a mix of indoor and outdoor activities and is intended to be interactive and participatory.

The content of the course includes topics such as the aging process, the value of veteran trees for biodiversity and heritage, roots, management of veteran trees and site management.  All delegates will receive a certificate of attendance.

Both the one day and three day courses were developed in five countries within the VETree project(see website for details) and have been fully tested.  For more details on the project see www.vetree.eu.

Course delegates

There will be a maximum of 18 delegates on each course. The course is designed for anyone who has an interest in veteran trees and their management, such as foresters, land managers, conservation officers, and local authority officers, and those who plan to go on to teach the one-day course to others.

Delivery of the one-day ‘Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees’ course

It is hoped that delegates will go on to deliver the one day course to others such as colleagues, employees, volunteers and community groups. Resources for running this course will be provided to all delegates. Those who do go on to deliver the one-day course can choose whether or not to charge trainees.  If you use the VETree training materials commercially we will ask you to consider making a donation to the Ancient Tree Forum (suggested amount £10 per course delegate).

Gilwell Park, Epping: This course will be held at the Scout Association Headquarters in the midst of Epping Forest.  Accommodation will be in one of the self contained lodges with single ensuite rooms.  Within the grounds of Gilwell Park there are some lovely ancient oak trees, including the Gilwell Oak, famous to Scouts all over the world.  During the course we will also visit Epping Forest and see veteran hornbeam, oak and beech trees.


The cost of the three day course including all meals and refreshments with accommodation in single rooms from the night before the course starts is £550 at Gilwell Park.  There are options for arriving on the morning of the course or being non residential (see below for details).


We aim to provide you with the tools to deliver a one day basic training course “Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees”.

 When you have completed this course you should be able to do the following:

  1. To define trees that are of importance for biological or heritage values.
  2. To explain the fundamental principles of the biology of old trees including the importance of their root systems, the aging process, natural processes affecting trees and habitat development.
  3. To prepare a simple management plan for a veteran tree or group of veteran trees.
  4. To assess whether the population of trees is sustainable (on a site or a specified geographical area).
  5. To undertake a survey of a veteran tree in the field including giving specifications for management where appropriate.

Draft programme

Day 1

10:00 – 16:30

Topics covered

What are veteran trees?  How do you recognise them?  The biodiversity and heritage values associated with veteran trees.  Field visit with surveying and assessment exercises.  The aging process and decay.

Day 2

9.00 – 16:30 (plus evening)

Topics covered

Learning theory and teaching techniques.  Management of veteran trees.  Pruning techniques. Management plans for veteran trees.  Field visit to look at the management of veteran trees.

Day 3

9.00 – 15.30

Topics covered

Review of the content of the basic veteran tree management course.  Group teaching presentations and feedback.  The importance of roots and veteran trees.  Populations of veteran trees and their sustainability.  Time for questions and discussion.

Training can also be delivered on demand for your specific organisation.

Booking Information

Send in your booking form by email to helen.read@ancienttreeforum.co.uk.  You will then be informed if there is a place on your desired course.  Once you have a place you will need to pay the full amount for the course and accommodation.  Your place will only be confirmed once this payment has been received by the ATF.

To make the payment please send a cheque made payable to ‘The Ancient Tree Forum’ or transfer by BACS to Sort code: 40 51 62.  Account number: 59273428. Swift Code: HANDGB22.  IBAN: GB87HAND40516259273428.    Please give your name as reference.

In case of cancellation a full refund can be made up to 4 weeks before the course.  After this we will do our best to fill the place on the course but if this is not possible a full refund may not be possible.

3 Comments | Leave a Comment

  • Hannah Solloway says:
    Posted February 26, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    This course was a fantastic introduction to veteran trees and gave me the confidence to go out and spread the word!

  • Michael Brett says:
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I attended Dr Helen Read’s talk on Vet trees at Horringer on 13/11/15 and would like to arrange a one day course for RFS members in Staverton Oaks Wood in Suffolk – and maybe a three day course (dependent on member response/cost) I would be grateful for details – to plan this for early 2016 perhaps. Michael Brett (RFS committee member) 01508.538030

    • Hannah Solloway says:
      Posted November 24, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Thanks for this Michael – we would be happy to discuss options with you, and Helen Read will get in touch re details and costs.


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