Tree Wardens

Tree Wardens are Volunteer Tree Champions who are registered with The Tree Council through Suffolk Tree Warden Network. They are usually linked to their Parish or Town Council and work with them on matters relating to trees.

Oaks on Thornham Estate
Oaks in Thornham walks on the Thornham Estate

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.

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.

These volunteers work with parish councils, local authorities and conservation bodies, who are key to the Scheme’s success.

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.


As local tree champions, Tree Wardens are the eyes and ears of their neighbourhoods. Community involvement is a central aim of the Scheme.

Pound Lane Wood information board
Tree wardens are involved in developing
and maintaining community woodland,
such as Pound Lane Wood, in Horham.

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.

Hazel Catkins in Thornham Magna
Hazel Catkins in Thornham Magna

Tree wardens 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.


New Tree Wardens are always welcome. If you are interested in becoming a Tree Warden, please contact Frances Jannaway STWN Coordinator. If you live outside Suffolk please contact the Tree Council via their website to find a network in your area.