26th July 2016
Funding is secured for veteran tree management accreditation scheme
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.