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Our history

The Ancient Tree Forum (ATF) was founded in 1993 by a group of multi-disciplinary experts and specialists who came together to discuss ancient trees and their management.

The word ‘forum’ was chosen, as our organisation brings together people from different backgrounds and with different levels of expertise, all of whom have a shared love for ancient trees, their history and wildlife. The ATF registered as a charity in 1998. We have worked with many partners over the years, and some of our key achievements have included:

  • Being a key partner in the Veteran Trees Initiative between 1996 and 2000, which raised the profile of ancient trees and the need for their conservation.
  • Producing or contributing to three books on ancient tree management: Veteran trees: A guide to good management (Helen Read, 2000), Veteran Trees: A guide to risk and responsibility (Neville Fay, Charles Mynors and Caroline Davis, 2000) and Ancient and other veteran trees: further guidance on management (Editor David Lonsdale, 2013).
  • Being a key partner in VETree between 2012 and 2014 – a European-funded project which has resulted in the production of resources and training courses being cascaded across Europe as well as the UK.
  • Delivering the Ancient Tree Hunt in partnership with the Woodland Trust, a project which has involved the public in identifying, mapping and recording ancient, veteran and notable trees across the UK, to create a nationally significant resource.
  • Influencing legislation and policies from UK devolved governments and the European Union impacting on ancient trees, resulting in their better recognition and protection.