27th October 2015
Jon Ryan attends the first meeting of ATF East Anglia in Captain’s Wood
On an autumnal day in October the inaugural meeting of the East Anglian branch of the ATF took place at Captain’s Wood, near Sudbourne in Suffolk. The event was incredibly popular, with 54 people giving up their Saturday to spend time looking at and learning about old trees.
Captain’s Wood has a recorded treed history dating back over 1000 years and is a remnant of a medieval wood pasture that once covered many hundreds of acres. It has stunning ancient oak pollards, set amongst birch and lapsed hazel coppice, situated between the famous Staverton Thicks and the Suffolk coast.The event was kindly hosted by Rod West (pictured above) at the Stanny House Field Centre, who provided the generous use of Low barn, a converted Suffolk punch stable block which was a welcome and comfortable base within walking distance of the wood. Our thanks also go to Andrew Excell the reserve manager from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust for guiding us around the wood and providing an insight into its history.
Many thanks go to ATF stalwarts Ted Green and David Lonsdale (both pictured below) and Jill Butler for coming to speak and to Gary Battell (Suffolk CC) all of whom shared their thoughts and experience freely.
As with similar ATF events, the informal walk stopped at trees of note (almost every tree!) which allowed the speakers to address the group and invite comment, but also discussions within smaller groups and with individuals too, as we ambled through the wood.
As someone recently returning to live in Suffolk, the East Anglian branch of the ATF is a great forum for meeting like-minded people, visiting some beautiful and interesting places and helping to raise awareness of ancient trees and treed landscapes.
One of the best aspects of the ATF meetings is how approachable everybody is. The group’s passion for trees is obvious and the discussions lively and informative.
I always leave having learnt a gem or two, new facts and knowledge gleaned from a group with a combined experience older than the ancient trees we visited.
A big thanks to Reg Harris of Urban Forestry (Bury St Edmunds) Ltd for instigating the East Anglian branch of the ATF and for organising the event.
Our next event will be held at Ickworth Park, near Bury St Edmunds in the spring (April), and also a joint event with Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group at Rummer’s Lane near Wisbech in May, to re-visit a traditional orchard, with a great variety of veteran fruit trees.
For future East Anglian ATF events check the events pages of the website and the ATF Facebook page, or email Reg directly Reg@urbanforestry.info.