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Ancient Tree Forum Newsletter - April 2018

ATF Spring Field Meeting at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace was the venue for the Ancient Tree Forum’s 2018 spring field visit. After a brief welcome, the day began in earnest, with attendees shepherded into the back of the shoot lorry for transportation to High Park. Upon dismounting from the lorry we gathered beneath a veteran beech tree adjacent to a track. Paul Orsi, our guide for the day, introduced himself, detailing his responsibilities whilst employed by the estate. Although he has now moved on to pastures new, Paul’s knowledge of the estate and its trees was second to none, making him the perfect guide for the day.
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Pedostrangalia revestita 
Black-and-red Longhorn Beetle
Credit for this photo to © D. Göbel-Beggold owner of photo

The IUCN Red List of European Saproxlyic Beetles - Keith Alexander

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. The European Union has recognised that saproxylic (dead and decaying wood) invertebrates are one of the most threatened groups of organisms across the continent and have commissioned IUCN to publish a first phase of red-listing of saproxylic beetles in 2010. This covered 435 species, including the scarabs, clicks and about half of the longhorn beetles. A second phase has been progressed over the last two years and has now been published in spring 2018.  This completes coverage of longhorn beetles and includes other groups. The process of carrying out these individual species threat statuses also generates useful statistics. It is now possible to state that nearly one fifth of Europe’s saproxylic beetles have been assessed as Threatened. In Britain it is thought that the figure is closer to one quarter. The key factor has been identified – not surprisingly – as the continuing loss of ancient and veteran trees across European landscapes. The only British species assessed as Threatened amongst this phase has been the longhorn beetle Pedostrangalia revestita, a species of open-grown veteran oak trees with modern UK records from just four sites, including Ashtead Common and the New Forest. It hasn’t been reported from Windsor Forest for over 100 years.
Please see below the link from which both the publication and the supplementary material can be downloaded.

Just to let you know, the IUCN European Red List of Saproxylic Beetles,
which we published 5 March, has received some significant press
coverage. Congratulations to Keith Alexander, Marta Calix and Ana Nieto
as well as the rest of the team who were involved in this. 
Read more (IUCN)
Read more (Guardian)

Veteran Tree Management Standards finalised

The Ancient Tree Forum is one of ten European partners in the VETcert, a project seeking to develop a certification scheme for those who work with veteran trees. In December the Ancient Tree Forum launched a public consultation to seek views on the draft standards and determine areas in need of improvement. With over 350 responses received, the public consultation was deemed a success.
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Woodland Pasture and Parkland Network Videos

The Wood Pasture and Parkland Network have produced a series of videos highlighting the importance of wood pasture habitats and providing guidance on their management. These videos can be found on the People’s Trust for Endangered Species website, see below.  
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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Here at the Ancient Tree Forum we take your privacy seriously. We are working on a policy to ensure that we will not contravene the new GDPR legistlation. There is an 'Unsubscribe' option at the bottom of this email, should you want to opt out of receiving these newsletters. Please do contact us via the button below if you have any queries.
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Better Protection for Ancients

The Woodland Trust needs your help in responding to the consultation question around ancient woodland and aged and veteran trees. All you need to do is add your details, and your views about why both habitats deserve equal protection from insensitive and inappropriate development. Please use the link below.

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Have a look at our latest column in Pro Arb magazine about the Major Oak, Nottinghamshire.
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ATF/WT joint response to the consultation on revision to Planning Law in Wales 

The Ancient Tree Forum and the Woodland Trust have submitted a joint response to the above. These proposals follow on from the recommendations of a 'Task and finish Group' set up to look especially at the protection of ancient, veteran and heritage trees on which both ATF and WT were represented and made strong representation to make key changes which have prevented the protection of veteran trees. 

The consultation contains some very welcome proposed changes, which we have been campaigning for including widening the definition of 'amenity' in grounds for making Tree Preservation Orders and amending exemptions for the need for consent so that the only exemption would be for 'works urgently necessary to remove an immediate risk of serious harm....'. Other changes such as the proposal only to  be able to use the 'area' designation for a short period we have opposed as it has value for areas such as wood pasture.  But we have also asked that a specific designation be created for wood pasture and parkland which are types of ancient woodland but their distinct values, features and management needs differ from other woodland.

Read More and Download Response Document

Local ATF Group news and events

Devon ATF Spring Meeting

The next meeting of the Devon ATF will be at Ugbrooke Park, near Chudleigh on 10 May. The park was designed by Capability Brown and is an SSSI for the lichen flora on ancient parkland trees. The Devon ATF host will be Alexander Clifford and their guide for the day is Simon Major.

Booking is essential, please use the button below to take you to the ATF website to book. 

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Yorkshire and East Midlands ATF Field Visit to Chatsworth Estate

The inaugural meeting of the Yorkshire and East Midlands ATF will be at Chatsworth Estate on Saturday 12 May. John Everitt, Chatsworth’s Head Forester, will lead you on a walk in to the private Old Deer Park to look at the Peak District’s best ancient trees – you’ll also look at other notable trees on the estate.

Booking is essential, please use the button below to take you to the ATF website to book. 
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Wessex ATF Field Meeting at Leigh Woods

Join the ATF Wessex on a walk around Leigh Woods (Bristol) on Tuesday 22 May 2018, 10am-3pm. Leigh Woods are owned by the Forestry Commission and the National Trust. The site encompasses semi ancient natural woodland, historic wood-pasture, a scheduled monument, PAWS, ancient coppice and a Grade 2 listed park and garden. The site contains over 500 veteran trees, many of which are lapsed pollards.

Booking is essential, please use the button below to take you to the ATF website to book.
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ATF Training Courses

Valuing and managing veteran trees: a one day training course, South Gloucestershire

7 June 2018
This one-day introductory course is aimed at those who are responsible for managing areas with veteran trees, anyone who owns veteran trees or has a keen interest.
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Valuing and managing veteran trees: a three day advanced course for trainers, Hereford

4-6 July 2018
A three-day advanced course aimed at those who would like to share their own knowledge and experience of veteran trees with colleagues, employees, volunteers and community groups. It will equip attendees with the skills, confidence and resources to be able to deliver the ATF’s one-day course on ‘Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees'.
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If you have any news, reports and anything of interest that you would like to share with subscribers of the Ancient Tree Forum's newsletter, please do get in touch as we would be very happy to put it on our next newsletter. Please use the 'Contact Us' button below.
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