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26th July 2016

Funding is secured for veteran tree management accreditation scheme

Reg Harris

Veteran tree work

The Ancient Tree Forum is delighted to announce that funding has been secured to develop a Europe-wide certification scheme in veteran tree management. This will address the fact that despite the enormous ecological, cultural and landscape value of ancient and veteran trees, and the need for specialist care, up to now there has been no formal recognition of appropriate arboricultural skills and knowledge.

The VETCert project is expected to raise standards in veteran tree care across Europe. It will involve defining a common European minimum level of skills and knowledge for arboricultural and forestry professionals, and developing a clear and objective certification procedure to test the skills and knowledge level in veteran tree management of arborists and foresters. The project will also develop new training material to help candidates achieve the accreditation, which is aimed at both practicing and consulting tree work professionals.

Ten partners from seven different countries will be involved in the project, including the Ancient Tree Forum and the Arboricultural Association in the UK. The other countries taking part are Sweden, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Spain, and the European Arboricultural Council will also be a partner, representing interests from all European countries. Between them they have been awarded almost 400,000 Euros from Erasmus+ European Union funding, for a programme of work which will start in December 2016 and last for nearly 3 years.

ATF Trustee and Co Vice Chair, Vikki Bengtsson, says ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that our precious ancient and veteran trees and the biodiversity they support are better cared for across Europe. The project will help ensure recognition for those companies and organisations that have invested in high quality veteran tree management as well as allowing those purchasing this kind of work to better specify the contracts. It really will be a great step forward for the huge responsibility we have to look after our old trees.’

VETCert follows on from VETree, another European funded project in which the ATF was a partner, which resulted in the development of training courses and resources in veteran tree management.

Posted by: Hannah Solloway Hannah is the Development Officer for the Ancient Tree Forum.

7 Comments | Leave a Comment

  • James says:
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Hi, that’s great news! How do I get involved? As a consulting arborist this is a field I am very much interested in.

    • Jim Mullholland (ATF Training and Technical Officer) says:
      Posted July 27, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Hi James and Colin, thanks for expressing an interest in VETcert. Work will begin on the project in December and the project will run for just under three years. The outcome of the project will be to develop the certification scheme which can then be rolled out . More information on how to enter the scheme will be available when the project heads towards completion.
      In the meantime, the Ancient Tree Forum are continuing to run the 1 and 3 day training courses developed as part of VETree project, if you haven’t attended one of these yet I would recommend looking at those.

      • Hannah Solloway says:
        Posted July 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        For more information about these training courses which are being held next in September and October, go to the events page of the website

  • Colin Norman says:
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Interested in being a Consultant

  • Ryan Charnock says:
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Just to be clear, will the certification scheme only run for 3 years or only start after 3 years?

    • Hannah Solloway says:
      Posted July 29, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Hi Ryan, we will develop the certification scheme during the 3 year project, but once its set up we expect it to continue. We don’t yet know exactly when the scheme will start, but will give updates on the website and our newsletter (you can sign up at the bottom of the page if you don’t already get it already). Do get in touch with training@ancienttreeforum.co.uk if you have any more queries, and thanks for your interest

  • Mark Chester says:
    Posted July 29, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    This is great news. One of the founding principles for the Consulting Arborist Society is that there is assessment of the skills and competency of those who practice within specific fields. I am looking forward to finding out more. I have been keen to add this skills area to the CAS competency list!


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