Ancient Tree Forum Newsletter - July 2015
Historic pact with the National Trust is sealed under the Ankerwycke Yew 

800 years after the sealing of the Magna Carta by King John, the Director General of the National Trust, Dame Helen Ghosh, has sealed a historic document at the same site, in a special ceremony to reaffirm its commitment to ancient and other veteran trees.

‘Ancient trees are a vital and treasured part of the natural and cultural landscape. They support a stunning diversity of wildlife and are a very important and highly valued part of our heritage.’ So begins the Ancient Tree Forum Concordat which Dame Helen (pictured above with the ATF's Chair Brian Muelaner) signed and sealed on 11 June near Runnymede in Surrey.

ATF annual conference in East Anglia, 18 and 19 June 2015
Among the trees in East Anglia

The Ancient Tree Forum’s 2015 summer forum was held in East Anglia, and attracted over 100 specialists and enthusiasts with a shared passion for ancient trees.

Delegates came from Belgium, Holland and Sweden as well as all corners of the UK, and they used the opportunity to network and exchange ideas, to hear from the experts, and to visit old and culturally significant trees in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Study tour of Romanian wood pastures
The wood pastures in Romania are rumoured to be interesting, but nothing prepared Suzanne Perry for the scale and diversity of what they were to encounter during a four day visit to southern Transylvania.

'The UK Wood pasture and parkland Technical Advisory Group, and supporters of the Ancient Tree Forum visited five different wood pasture sites in this region of Romania in mid-May. 
read more
Learning to identify and record veteran trees 
Bushy Park in Middlesex, home to hundreds of ancient and other veteran trees including hawthorns (pictured), was the perfect location for a training course run by the ATF and the Woodland Trust.

Few of the attendees at the free, pilot course in June, had recorded trees previously to the Ancient Tree Inventory, but at the end of the day, most went away feeling confident that they would start providing data for this important national database.
Read about ATF training
Remembering the Ancient Tree Forum in your will
Leaving a legacy for the Ancient Tree Forum will help us care for and protect our oldest and most special trees.

Your gift, however large or small, will make a lasting difference, and making or changing your will is a real opportunity to give a significant gift which won't cost you now.

Your legacy will help us champion and protect ancient and other veteran trees through a number of ways including raising awareness of their value, lobbying for their better protection, and providing advice, guidance and training on managing ancient and veteran trees
read more
Top marks for VETree
A report from the EU on VETree, the two-year veteran tree project in which the ATF was a partner, says 'We congratulate you on a very well implemented project which has produced excellent results'. 

The project involved partners from Sweden, Belgium, Spain and Romania, as well as the ATF, represented by Helen Read (above right with Vikki Bengtsson of Sweden's Pro Natura). It was found to have excelled in many ways, such as raising awareness of the value and impact of veteran trees. 
Training materials, videos on managing veteran trees and other resources are all freely available on the VETree website.
ATF and Arboricultural Association join forces
The ATF has another new signatory to its Ancient Tree Forum Concordat, with the Arboricultural Association agreeing to support the ATF's work championing ancient and other veteran trees.

Ted Green, Founding President of the ATF, and Karen Martin, Chief Executive Officer of the Arboricultural Association (pictured), signed the document at the Arb Show at Westonbirt Arboretum, in early June.
Read about the Concordat
Are you good with figures? 
The ATF seeks a treasurer
Much of the Ancient Tree Forum's work is carried out by our trustees and co-opted supporters who volunteer their time. 

With more work being generated by the organisation, we now need a volunteer treasurer who can carry out roles such as preparing financial reports for the board, keeping records of income and outgoings, and arranging for the audit of accounts.

For details email John Smith at
ATF at the Arb Show
If you visited the Arb Show at Westonbirt in June, you would have found the Ancient Tree Forum in a teepee by a fabulous veteran oak.

Our new displays and leaflets were on view, books were for sale, and ATF T shirts proved popular among the visiting arbs. If you would like to volunteer to help run an ATF stand at events, please email
Graffiti and trees
Tree carvings and graffiti occur widely on trees, but are rarely recorded. A project has now been set up to collect evidence of 'culturally marked trees'.

The project's co-ordinator, Ian Rotherham of Sheffield Hallam University,is appealing for more volunteers to get involved by sending photos and comments of marked trees, from the past and present day. 
read more
Upcoming ATF Events
Thursday 8th October
ATF Autumn field visit to the Lake District
Join us for a visit to Borrowdale, famous for its ancient yews, the ‘Fraternal Four’ (now three) and its pollard ash trees, and Watendlath, which has a very special historic landscape.

Everyone is welcome, and discussions are likely to include the management and restoration of pollards, ash dieback and the historic landscape, and pollard products.
September and December 2015
Veteran tree course for trainers: last few places
Would you like to be able to deliver a one-day course on veteran tree management? We are running two three-day courses to give you the knowledge, skills and resources.

'Valuing and managing veteran trees; A three day course for trainers' will be held in Cumbria at the end of October, and in Essex in December. Participants will be given presentations and course materials for running the course themselves.
Other dates for your diary
Wednesday 9 to Friday 11 September 2015
Wild Thing conference
'The Ancient Tree Forum is one of the supporters of this major, international, 3 day conference on the theme of 'wilder by design' to be held this Autumn.

The guest keynote lecturer is Tony Juniper, and speakers will include Frans Vera and Tom Williamson  as well as Ted Green and others from the Ancient Tree Forum. 'Managing landscape change and future ecologies: Cultural severance and continuity' will be held in Sheffield.
find out more
Other News
Very Important Trees campaign
Have you signed the Very Important Trees campaign yet, which seeks to celebrate and protect our 'VI Trees' through the creation of national registers?

If not, please add your name to this campaign run by the Woodland Trust in partnership with Country Life magazine. Britain is thought to have more ancient trees than any other country in Europe, and they should be officially recognised and protected, just as our historic buildings are.
find out more
Find an ancient tree or treescape to visit
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
trees illustration
Follow us for more news & comment at: