10th December 2019
ATF Wessex visit to Mottisfont Abbey
Julian Hight, ATF Wessex chair, reports on the group’s summer visit to Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire.
31st October 2019
“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.
27th October 2019
It’s becoming the norm now for all our field visits to be fully booked well before the event, but whilst organising our most northerly event in Northumberland, an area not currently covered by an ATF regional group, we didn’t know what to expect! As it was we received an incredibly warm welcome from a professionally diverse mix of individuals (and collected a long waiting list!)
6th September 2019
ATF Wessex visit to Stock Gaylard
Julian Hight, ATF Wessex chair, reports on the group’s summer visit to Stock Gaylard in Dorset.
7th May 2019
Due to a climate change induced postponement, the Spring Field Trip was re-arranged from March to 11 April 2019. While unfortunate for those who planned to attend the original event and were not able to re-arrange their diaries, those that did attend were able to experience the onset of the spring ‘greening’ in outstanding surroundings.
29th November 2018
ATF East Anglia’s Visit to Weald Country Park, Brentwood
21 July 2018
A warm sunny day greeted around 40 people at Weald Country Park, situated north-west of Brentwood, a world away from the nearby A12/M25. The walk was led by Jim Curry, a local arborist from Harlow who has worked on the park’s veteran trees and whose knowledge of the site and navigation skills proved invaluable. Before setting off Jim explained Weald was originally owned by Waltham Abbey and became a deer park in the 12th century. Part was then converted in the late 17th-early 18th century into a Capability Brown style landscape. The park was in private ownership until bought by Essex County Council in 1951 and opened as a country park a couple of years later.
5th April 2018
Blenheim Palace was the venue for the Ancient Tree Forum’s 2018 spring field visit, as Jim Mullholland, Training and Technical Officer reports.
After a brief welcome, the day began in earnest, with attendees shepherded into the back of the shoot lorry for transportation to High Park. Upon dismounting from the lorry we gathered beneath a veteran beech tree adjacent to a track. Paul Orsi, our guide for the day, introduced himself, detailing his responsibilities whilst employed by the estate. Although he has now moved on to pastures new, Paul’s knowledge of the estate and its trees was second to none, making him the perfect guide for the day.
23rd November 2017
David Lonsdale reviews Aljos Farjon’s book about how the oak tree has shaped the English landscape over the past thousand years.
Connections between past land use and the present-day distribution of ancient trees are the central theme of this book by Aljos Farjon, a botanist and author who is renowned for his work on conifers and who, in retirement, has turned his attention to ancient oaks.
Contributors to the Ancient Tree Inventory have recorded thousands of ancient trees in the UK. Aljos Farjon hit on the idea of using this information in order to explore in detail the relationships that were already known to occur between the distribution of England’s ancient oaks and the history of land use. By personally recording trees at many sites and by studying documented site history, he has confirmed the strength of these relationships, while also creating a very readable and fascinating book.
22nd November 2017
Greg Packman, an arboriculturalist with the Royal Parks, writes about the recent launch of ATF London held at Kensington Gardens in October.
The meeting started off outside the Kensington Gardens park office where we had an introduction from Simon Richards, Park Manager of Richmond Park and Head of Park Operations for The Royal Parks. Through his role at Richmond Park with its 1000 plus ancient trees, Simon has worked closely with many from the ATF over the past 20 years so was the ideal person to introduce the first meeting. After a brief introduction from myself and then from London Tree Officers Association Chair, John Parker we set off for the first veteran tree.
22nd November 2017
Clare de Villanueva, Cumbria Woodlands Project Officer, and member of the ATF Cumbria group, writes about their recent visit to Brotherswater
It was a chilly, misty autumnal day, beginning with an exciting approach for me via the Kirkstone Pass. An excellent turn out made for some serious parking challenges, which were negotiated well by Ian Jack (leader of the ATF Cumbria group). The visit to Brotherswater had been inspired by Cumbria Woodlands’ ash project, which is looking in part at ancient and pollarded ash. The day was hosted by Liam Plummer of the National Trust, and we were also joined by a lichenologist and a film maker.