Tree Wardens are volunteers linked to parish councils or other community organisations who gather information about their local trees, get involved in local tree matters and local practical projects related to trees and woods.
The Tree Council launched the Tree Warden Scheme in 1990 and co-ordinates the Scheme nationally. It works with local authorities, voluntary organisations, parish councils and local partnerships to set up and develop Tree Warden networks – in town, city and countryside.
Today there are many thousands of Tree Wardens in local networks throughout the UK, forming a volunteer force of immense value to the environment. Together, they devote nearly two million volunteer hours a year to trees – time worth about £13 million.
VOLUNTEER TREE CHAMPIONS
The Tree Warden Scheme gives people who feel that trees matter an opportunity to:
- Champion their local trees and woods
- Plant and care for trees
- Carry out woodland management
- Set up tree nurseries using seeds collected locally
- Survey trees and gather information about them
- Provide early warning of threats, disease, decay or vandalism
- Involve their neighbours in tree projects
- Get together with like-minded people for training and field trips
- Spearhead Tree Council initiatives such as its Hedge Tree Campaign to reverse the decline of trees and hedges.
These volunteers work with parish councils, local authorities and conservation bodies, who are key to the Scheme’s success.
ACTION FOR LOCAL TREES
As local tree champions, Tree Wardens are the eyes and ears of their neighbourhoods. Community involvement is a central aim of the Scheme.
Some Tree Wardens work with local schools or groups, developing imaginative projects to encourage others to value the community’s trees and woods. Involving children and youth groups helps to reduce vandalism.
Many Wardens lead guided tree walks – often as part of the national Walk in the Woods festival that The Tree Council organises each May – and give talks to local groups.
Tree Wardens help farmers to lay hedges or tag hedge trees.
They encourage local environmental improvement projects and plan tree planting for The Tree Council’s National Tree Week.
Tree Warden networks also work in their own communities to undertake projects with The Tree Council such as the planting of the 60 Jubilee Diamond Trees and the Hedgerow Harvest programme as well as pioneering changes to the online Treezilla Tree Map.
BECOME A TREE WARDEN
New Tree Wardens are always welcome. If you are interested in becoming a Tree Warden, please contact the co-ordinator of Suffolk Tree Warden Network. If you live outside Suffolk please contact the Tree Council via their website to find a network in your area.