Spring Forum 2019

Working Together for Trees, Landscapes & Communities


The Suffolk Tree Warden Network’s 2nd Spring Forum & AGM took place on 28 April 2019 at Ufford Community Hall near Woodbridge. It was a resounding success.

Over forty Tree Wardens came from all over Suffolk to enjoy a very interesting and varied programme – Working Together for Trees, Landscapes & Communities. There were speakers from national and local organisations, as well as several Suffolk Tree Wardens.

Details of each of the talks – with illustrations – can be found below.

On arrival, everybody was given a wooden name badge hand made by John Ibbetson – STWN committee member and Elmswell Tree Warden.

Tree Wardens were also given two forms to fill in. One to help us decide what Courses and Events to organise in the next few years. The other to tell us about the Skills which you would be willing to share with other Tree Wardens. Both these forms are available in the members section.

During the day there were opportunities for networking over refreshments, including a Buffet lunch provided by Farmhouse Cooking of Wickham Market, and tea and cake in the afternoon.

Opportunities for Tree Wardens

As a result of this forum Suffolk tree wardens were given the following opportunities :

Update Native Black Poplar surveys – so far 20 STW’s have volunteered. See Peter Holborn below.

Get involved with Ancient & Veteran Tree surveys. See Jeannie Buckingham below.

Help with Ash dieback monitoring and Tree Council parish action plan workshop. See Jon Stokes below.

To plant trees from the Woodland Trust free trees offer. See Edwin Van Ek below.

Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS)

STW’s were made aware of the valuable local resource provided by SBIS who are currently based in Ipswich Museum. SBIS aims to promote a better understanding of Suffolk’s wildlife by encouraging and coordinating biological recording within the County and through the publication of guides, surveys and scientific works on Suffolk wildlife.

SBIS has a paper archive of the Hedgerow Surveys which many Suffolk Tree Wardens carried out some years ago. Consult SBIS to find out about whether there is a hedgerow survey for your parish.

STWN will be working closely with SBIS in the future.

Tree related books were for sale, including a beautiful new book, ‘Ash’ by Archie Miles.

Working for Trees & Woods on Landscape scale in Eastern Claylands: Edwin Van Ek, Woodland Trust

Click for talk slides

Edwin Van Ek, is Outreach Adviser, Woodland Trust. Many tree wardens will have met Edwin last year when he delivered your free Woodland Trust tree packs with Gary Battell (Suffolk County Council). Edwin explained how he is working to promote tree planting in the Eastern Claylands in partnership between the Woodland Trust, Suffolk Tree Wardens and local landowners/farmers. He concluded with information on this year’s free tree offer which will be twice as many trees as last year! All STW’s will be sent an order form in the next week or so.

Trees and Planning : Nick Newton, Tree Officer East Suffolk District Council Planning Department

Arboriculture & Landscape Manager, Development Management, East Suffolk District Council or Tree Officer in Planning Department! Nick gave a very interesting and insightful talk about Trees, The Law, & Planning. There was a lively Question & Answer session, especially about the ‘protection’ of trees in Conservation Areas and the importance of Temporary TPO’s.

Hedgerows and Hedgerow Surveys: Anne Westover

Anne is a chartered landscape architect with over thirty years’ experience. She has worked for local planning authorities including twenty years at Suffolk Coastal DC as Landscape Officer in the areas of planning, environment and public realm. She is also one of the coordinators of the East Suffolk TW group along with Jane and Judy.

Anne described that many Suffolk Tree Wardens have carried out. SBIS holds the records of the Suffolk Hedgerow surveys already carried out. Please contact SBIS for more information.

Native Black Poplar Survey: Peter Holborn

Peter is the Tree Warden for Drinkstone and founding member of STWN, sadly he is stepping down from the committee as secretary and as TW area coordinator.

Peter worked for Suffolk County Council for 30 years in the field of environmental conservation and during that time built up considerable knowledge of the ecology of Suffolk, wildlife conservation priorities and initiatives. He is a Trustee of Suffolk Wildlife Trust and has a passion for trees, Wild Service and Native Black Poplar in particular. He has set up a Black Poplar nursery on his allotment and works closely with Sue Hooton who keeps the county records of Black Poplars in Suffolk and works closely with Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service.

Peter described an exciting project,for Tree Wardens to take part in.

By the end of the day, 20 Tree Wardens had put their names down to take part in this survey. Please contact Frances Jannaway if you would like to help.

Ash Dieback Update: Jon Stokes,

Jon is Programmes Director of The Tree Council (our umbrella organisation). He gave an update on explaining the Action Plan Toolkit The Tree Council published, February 2019 for local authorities to help them plan for the impact of Ash Dieback.

Jon was especially interested to know if Suffolk Tree Wardens would be willing to take part in a workshop in the summer to discuss how this Action Plan Toolkit could be adapted at a Parish level. For those interested in being part of this workshop, please read the Tree Council’s Ash Dieback Action Plan Toolkit on the The Tree Council’s and STWN’s websites.

Please let Frances Jannaway know if you would like to be involved.

There followed 3 Tree Warden reports.

Veteran/Ancient Tree surveys: Jeannie Buckingham

Jeannie is TW for Framsden, founding member of STWN and TW area coordinator. She is doing amazing things with her farmer husband Glen in Framsden including a community farm near Debenham called Two Fields Farm.

Jeannie first gave a summary of TW activities in her area before talking about the Veteran/Ancient Tree surveys she has carried out. The planning law has changed significantly with respect to Ancient/Veteran Trees – now a Material Constraint on any development. This means developers are obliged to request information about the presence of Ancient/Veteran trees on development land as part of the planning application.

SBIS manager Martin Sanford has requested that Suffolk Tree Wardens carry out ancient tree surveys as a matter of urgency. Please visit the Ancient Tree Inventory on the Woodland Trust website for information.

Protection Trees from Deer: Judy Clements

Judy is TW for Eyke and is also one of the coordinators of the East Suffolk TW group along with Jane and Anne. Over the last year, Judy has encouraged many parish councils to appoint a TW.

Judy explained that some years ago she had planted a lot of young trees in quite a large section of the recreation ground in Eyke. All the trees were protected with guards but as soon as the young trees grew to the top of the guard, they were nibbled off by deer.

Over the years and not surprisingly, Judy lost heart and felt like giving up. Then late last year, somebody suggested she put up a deer fence. Judy investigated the possibility, got quotes and in a matter of a few months had raised funds from her parish council, district councillor and the Tree Council to have a deer fence installed by a local contractor. The photos show the new deer fence around the trees and members of the community planting new trees. The trees are now doing very well.

Stag Beetles and Woodland Management for wildlife: Colin Hawes:

Colin has been the TW for Bentley for many years and has planted a large number of trees all over the parish. His passion and expertise in addition to trees, is Stag Beetles and woodland management for wildlife and is currently completing a PhD on Stag Beetles.

STWN AGM – Minutes, Chair’s report and Treasurer’s reports. Accounts

Afternoon guided Walks:

In the afternoon there were three guided walks of differing lengths lead by local and national experts. Gary Battell, Jane Hawthorne, Robert Florry and Anne Westover.  During this walk, Jon Stokes discovered a very large Common Lime (botanical name Tilia x europaea) which may be very old (300 years plus?) possibly planted in the mid 1700’s.

Amongst other fantastic trees in these beautiful woods a magnificent Native Black Poplar was observed on the banks of the River Deben.

Concluding remarks and thanks: Frances Jannaway.

Working Together for Trees, Landscapes & Communities, is the way forward for the Suffolk Tree Warden Network.