Then become a Tree Warden. Curious? Read on…
When the natural environment is threatened and no one seems to care except you and it feels like an uphill battle to make people listen, remember, you are not alone.
There are over 8,000 Tree Wardens in England, over 150 in Surrey. The Surrey Tree Warden Network is here to help you contact the right people, to give you the tools to raise the awareness of local trees and promote action in your community.
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What Tree Wardens do
Tree Wardens perform an important job in their local community, acting as a focus for advice, promoting action, collating and giving information and raising awareness of tree matters.
The main activities are:
You are the community’s link with trees. You are the eyes and ears, providing a useful link between the community and local councils. This may include making surveys of local trees, following local planning schemes to ensure trees are a material consideration, developing ideas for projects, monitoring tree planting scheme and finding out where help and advice are needed. It means staying alert to possible or real threats to local trees.
Acting as local contacts
An important part of your role is to network, to be the contact and know who to contact. Wardens can provide a focus for advice, collate and give out information, and raise awareness of tree matters. You might, for instance, be asked questions on what species to plant, how to deal with a damaged tree or how to get grant aid for planting. If you do not have the answers, the Network can help you find out, so you can pass the information on.
You can organise or encourage others to organise, tree planting projects or woodland management. You can rally local groups to survey all the old trees in the village. You can map all the important hedgerows around you and promote their protection.
Community involvement is important part, and is one of the main aims of the Tree Warden scheme. You might, for example, arrange guided tree walks, give talks to local groups, help farmers lay hedges or encourage local habitat improvement projects.
Tree Wardens all over England work with schools to create conservation areas and lead activities for children from schools and youth groups. This educates the next generation of potential Tree Wardens and protects our green heritage.
Trees and woods need protecting, and local people can often see what needs to be done before council officials or landowners. You will be able to tell your local council of threats to trees, ensuring compliance with tree preservation orders and planning consents. You can also keep your eyes open for vandalism to newly planted trees.
Tree Wardens look out for trees that show signs of disease or of becoming dangerous through decay. Equally, Tree Wardens can help prevent old and decaying trees being felled simply because of their condition. Decaying trees are a major wildlife resource and should be protected so long as they pose minimal risk.
Other tasks carried out by Tree Wardens include:
As a Tree Warden you may choose to devote your time to those matters that are of special interest to you and your local community. Of course you are free to decide how best to do this. The range of opportunities is as wide as your imagination will allow.
To encourage the exchange of ideas and to make joint action easier, we have several local Tree Warden groups. Historically, these are usually organised by parish or local government district, but as a new Tree Warden we can put you in touch with a fellow Tree Warden, local to you, who will be able to show you the ropes.