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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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Posted by: Laura Alcock-Ferguson

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27th October 2019

ATF Autumn 2019 field visit to Wallington, Northumberland

Wallington                                                                                                   Photo credit: David Clayden

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!)

 

 

 

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Posted by: Julia Nicholas

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6th September 2019

ATF Wessex visit to Stock Gaylard

ATF Wessex visit to Stock Gaylard

Julian Hight, ATF Wessex chair, reports on the group’s summer visit to Stock Gaylard in Dorset.

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Posted by: Jim Mullholland Jim is the Ancient Tree Forum's Training and Technical Officer. He has a background in ecology and arboriculture, and has worked as a tree officer. He has a particular interest in veteran trees and bats.

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7th May 2019

ATF Spring Field Trip to Windsor Great Park

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.

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Posted by: Chris Knapman

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29th November 2018

ATF East Anglia’s Visit to Weald Country Park, Brentwood

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.

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Posted by: Julia Nicholas

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5th April 2018

ATF Spring Visit to Blenheim

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.

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Posted by: Jim Mullholland Jim is the Ancient Tree Forum's Training and Technical Officer. He has a background in ecology and arboriculture, and has worked as a tree officer. He has a particular interest in veteran trees and bats.

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23rd November 2017

Book review: Ancient oaks in the English Landscape

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.

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Posted by: David Lonsdale David Lonsdale is a consultant, author and lecturer, with a lifelong fascination for ancient trees. He is the editor of the Ancient Tree Forum's book 'Ancient and other veteran trees: further guidance on management'

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22nd November 2017

Launch of ATF London

Nev Fay

Kensington Gardens

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.

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Posted by: ATF London The ATF London group will be running regular field events in and around London. For more information email Greg Packman, at gpackman@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.

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22nd November 2017

To Brotherswater with ATF Cumbria

Ben Garish of HDDN media

Walking through pasture towards Dovedale

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.

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Posted by: ATF Cumbria

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