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5th September 2019

VETcert project concludes


The end of August saw the Erasmus+ funded VETcert project come to a conclusion. For the past 33 months project partners from seven different countries have been working to develop a certification scheme for those who manage veteran trees.

Final event

On 28 August the project team welcomed over 90 professionals from more than 10 different European countries to the final event Norrköping, Sweden. The team provided attendees with an overview of the project and two speakers, Karin Sandberg (national coordinator for the veteran tree action plan in Sweden) and Anton Sunnergren (district ecologist, Åtvidaberg, Östergötland) spoke about how they will utilise VETcert when advising on or buying in veteran tree management services. To conclude the morning session, attendees were treated to a wonderful talk on tree architecture from renowned French botanist Francis Hallé.


In the afternoon attendees were bussed to nearby Ingelstad Ekbackar Nature Reserve where Malin Larsson (district ecologist, Norrköping) and Nicklas Jansson (entomologist, county administration Östergötland) provided attendees with a guided tour of the oak wood pasture. Later on Simon Richmond (senior technical officer for the Arboricultural Association) provided an insight to the VETcert examination procedure and how the exam day is structured. 


Project outcomes

The overall aim of the project was to raise standards in veteran tree care across Europe. Key project outcomes include:

  • Producing Veteran Tree Management standards, one at Practising and one at Consulting level (both standards are available from the project website).
  • Developing training material on veteran tree management including a two-day course ‘Understanding and managing veteran trees’, a series of videos covering different aspects of veteran tree management (available here), a range of fact sheets and case studies and a guide to help interpret the Veteran Tree Management standards. This content will be added to the project website before the end of October.
  • Developing an exams procedure and producing exam papers to test candidates knowledge on veteran tree management. Exams in the UK will be administered by the Arboricultural Association.

Want to become VETcert?

In the UK, training and exams will commence from 2020. Due to a high level of interest we are asking people to register their interest in becoming VETcert by completing this online form.


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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