Valuing and managing Veteran Trees: learning outcomes

I wanted to sum up some of the takeaway messages from the course I attended with the Ancient Tree Forum – Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees: an advanced course for trainers.

A veteran tree is hard to define; generally speaking it is a tree with great value due to its life history – this often includes old-age characteristics, but the tree itself may not be ancient.

This is the most commonly accepted definition nowadays: a veteran tree is a tree which has markedly ancient characteristics, irrespective of chronological age. The term ancient is applied specifically to trees that are ancient in years (Lonsdale, 2014 – VETree website).

We have a fantastic collection of veteran and other ancient trees in the UK. Veteran trees ar‎e still scarce in the landscape however. ‎Many of the species that live on veteran trees, such as dead wood specialist (saproxylic) beetles, are rare themselves and vulnerable to extinction – locally or completely.


Violet Click Beetle – “Found only in the heart of decayed ancient trees” (wikipedia)

When managing for veteran trees, we should consider carefully whether work on the tree itself is necessary (it might pose a risk to the life of the tree, and can also be expensive and dangerous work). We should think about the management of the land around veteran trees too. This could mean looking to the surrounding trees that might shade a veteran tree out now or in the future, or considering the rooting zone and either instating a root protection area or increasing the area that is protected.

If you are interested in veteran trees, there is a lot of information on the Ancient Tree Forum website or you could consider attending a course on Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees.

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ERC 2017: Podcast Interview

podcast-microphone
podcast (noun) uk ​ /ˈpɒd.kɑːst/ us ​ /ˈpɑːd.kæst/
a radio programme that is stored in a digital form that you can download from the internet and play on a computer or on an MP3 player.

I was lucky to be featured a guest on the podcast series The Park Leaders Show recently. “This is the show for Park Rangers, Park Managers, and leaders who want to have an impact,” states the show’s synopsis. The show’s creator, Jody Maberry, interviews a variety of professionals to talk about their work in parks or to share their expertise from the business world with those working in parks. Although based in the US, Jody has also looked beyond to bring perspectives from Canada and Australia (and yes, even the UK). There is now an extensive library of past episodes to listen to, with topics including “Innovating ideas in parks” and “10 Steps to get the most out of working with volunteers”.

I appeared on the Park Leaders show to talk about the European Ranger Congress that I attended earlier in the year, as well as discussing ranger associations and my own work in parks. The episode went live last month, and you can find it here: Episode 124:  Introducing the European Ranger Federation

 

ParkLeaders Podcast ep Tom Heenan