Tree Wardens Scheme

Speaker: Frances Jannaway
Date: 28th November
Year: 2007

Tree

Frances Jannaway introduced herself as the former Co-coordinator of the Havant Group of Tree Wardens working closely with the Havant Borough Council Tree Officer Jamie Gargett.

Frances came to the Tree Wardens Scheme by way of her interest in nature conservation and the Brook Meadow Conservation Group.

Click here to visit the Brook Meadow website

Francis was involved with the Emsworth Residents Association and issues surrounding tree felling and housing developments as she lived in the area at the time.

Contact with the Havant Tree Officer who works in the Council Planning Office and can grant Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and The Tree Council followed.

Guidelines are set for the granting of TPOs and vary from Council to Council. The Tree Officer should be informed if problems occur with existing TPOs. The Tree Council set up by the Tree Warden Scheme following the Great Storm of 1987 and based on an East Sussex model.

It was launched nationwide in 1990 and has grown from an initial 178 Wardens to 18,000 today in local networks. All Tree Wardens are volunteers and appointed by Councils, Parish Councils and other similar bodies.

As an umbrella organization, the Tree Council provides training for Wardens on surveying, planting, seed collecting and tree law and publishes the Tree Wardens Handbook and other books and an award winning Newsletter called The Tree Guardian. It encourages local and Government initiatives and campaigns, such as the Green Monument campaign and the Hedge Tree campaign and Community activities that promote the enjoyment of trees for pleasure.

Grants are also available to schools for example to encourage pupils to become tree enthusiasts. Other work with Primary Schools has included a study of places to plant new trees in the borough. Conservation Groups are closely involved with the Tree Warden Scheme, and Havant Borough Conservation Group applied for and won a £10,000 lottery grant which has been used to make a tree trail and other conservation projects.

There are 24 Tree Wardens in the Borough, 12 in the Emsworth Group which meets monthly. Recent activities include a tree identification walk and tree survey along Havant Road and also on the 1700 year old Yew Tree in Warblington Churchyard. The results of the tree identification survey now appear in the Havant Plan and the trees get special protection.

Frances told us that sometimes Hampshire County Council cut down trees without taking into account the needs and wants of the local community. Constant vigilance is required by Tree Wardens and other interested parties. We should get in touch with the area Tree Wardens or the Tree Officer if information on developments becomes available to us.

Tree Wardens have looked at planning applications involving trees and contested developers demands for the felling of trees, with some success. Frances then told us about the Annual Tree Wardens Forum which is held in Kew Gardens. The theme was Trees and Climate Change and there was a programme of interesting talks by well known speakers. Also Jon Stokes the director of the Tree Council rural programmes is giving a talk on 4th February 2008 at the Brookfield Hotel on Trees to Plant in the Garden.

Frances finished up her talk which was much appreciated by the audience, by encouraging us to take a more active interest in our trees and perhaps even sign up to become a Tree Warden. She also told us that the Emsworth Tree Wardens booklet on the Tree Trail is soon to be published.

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