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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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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.

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31st August 2019

Ted Green receives first VETcert certificate


Ancient Tree Forum founder president, Ted Green, was the first person to become certificated under the recently launched VETcert. The certificate was awarded in recognition of the important work Ted has undertaken over the last 30+ years to educate and raise awareness of these special trees.

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27th June 2019

Appointment of New Role of Chief Executive Officer for the Ancient Tree Forum

The Ancient Tree Forum (ATF), UK’s only charity dedicated to the protection of our nation’s old trees, is delighted to announce the appointment of Laura Alcock-Ferguson as our first Chief Executive Officer.

Laura is joining the ATF from The Campaign to End Loneliness.

ATF’s Chair, Russell Miller said:

The UK is home to a huge number of ancient trees, many of which are internationally important habitats in their own right. The ATF pioneers the conservation of ancient trees and our first CEO will increase our capacity to preserve, protect and celebrate these priceless trees.”

Laura Alcock-Ferguson said:

I’m pleased to be joining the Ancient Tree Forum at a time when the urgency of protecting biodiversity and the natural world is paramount. There is huge biodiversity within ancient trees and ATF’s specialism in protecting them, built over the last 20 years, is needed by many landowners across the UK in order to maintain and protect these cultural and natural assets. ATF’s skill is already sought and shared worldwide. I look forward to working with partners, funders, those in the industry and volunteers and citizen scientists, to bring these beloved and threatened trees into greater care and protection for future generations.”

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26th June 2019

VETcert – register your interest

With the end of the VETcert project rapidly approaching, the Ancient Tree Forum and Arboricultural Association are gearing up to run deliver training and examinations for people who wish to go through the VETcert process.

Due to anticipated high demand for VETcert exams, we are asking people to register their interest by completing our form; see link below. Completing the form will register your interest but does not commit you to sitting an exam. Completing the form will be enable us to plan an appropriate number of exams in suitable areas.


Complete the form here.

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12th June 2019

ATF Sussex Official Launch at Sheffield Park & Garden 11 May 2019

Credit all photos: Derek Lefley and the Woodland Trust

Some 50-odd people gathered at the National Trust’s glorious Sheffield Park, on an equally glorious spring Saturday, to attend the inaugural Sussex ATF Group event. We began within the NT’s Tea Room’s with some necessary preliminaries, including some fine (and brief!) presentations introducing the Ancient Tree Forum, Sussex’s ancient trees, the Ancient Tree Inventory, and Sheffield Park itself. A quick break and then to the main event: out onto the site, to take in a sample of the amazing trees that it has to offer, in this case beginning with the gardens. We were expertly guided by Tom Hill, Trees & Woodland Officer for the National Trust, supported by Chris Skinner (Sheffield Park Gardener) and Tom Burns (Ranger). We were also joined by Sarah George (Plumpton College Lecturer) who has helped to survey the estate’s veteran tree population (180+ trees) this year with 14 Countryside Management students. See link the below for more information.

ATF Sussex launch event Sheffield Park

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13th May 2019

The value of special trees to tourism, the economy and national capital

The Ancient Tree Forum’s view, in partnership with the Tree Register of the British Isles, is that special trees – those that are ancient, veteran, champion or rare make many of our quintessentially British parks and gardens truly great – culturally, historically and for biodiversity. That they are also very popular for visitors is evident from research conducted by VisitBritain showing that a third of overseas tourists to the UK spent part of their trip at a park or garden, more than those who spent time at a museum, castle, historic house or art gallery.

The research demonstrated that the value to visitors was especially high in cities and towns. In London this is obvious from the popularity of the Royal Parks such as Bushy Park, Greenwich Park and Kensington Palace Gardens and those of the City of London who own and manage places such as Epping Forest or Hampstead Heath. The legacy from Victorian times which stopped these and other green spaces across the UK being built over is of huge value to us all today as they are some of the best collections of ancient and other veteran trees in Europe and perhaps the world.

The Department of Media, Culture and Sport Committee (made up of MPs) called for evidence on how gardens and parks contribute to tourism, the economy and national heritage. The ATF has responded because  it was a good opportunity to emphasise the value that special trees make in these situations, draw attention to their vulnerability to increased people pressure, and to call for new thinking on how to safeguard them and their values into the future.

ATF’s view is that:

  1. Growth in development and tourism and therefore visitor numbers is in some cases unsustainable and needs to be managed very carefully to protect valuable trees and failure to do so risks serious damage to these valued, historic landscape assets.
  2. The ATF again calls for special recognition of Trees of National Special Interest and ancient wood pasture and parkland priority habitat. Best practice management should be encouraged through incentives but also backed up by appropriate regulation, policy and national guidance.

View full consultation response here

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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 April 2019

Woodland Trust are seeking a Conservation Adviser (Trees)

Would you like to work for the Woodland Trust in the above role? This key role will lead on embedding understanding and action across the Trust both internally and externally to help secure exemplary conservation outcomes for trees outside woods, particularly ancient and veteran trees, and for wood pasture and parkland habitats.

Interested? To find out more, click on the link below:

Woodland Trust Conservation Adviser – Trees

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