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Veteran trees are amazing and an integral part of our natural heritage. They are the old trees in woodland, parkland and the gnarled oaks in the hedgerows. Our ancestors valued these trees as vital assets; they were part of their subsistence and economy as well as objects of religious and social interest. In modern day Kent few trees are maintained and managed for their produce. Many more have been felled to make room for development, intensive agriculture and forestry or for safety reasons.

Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in these ancient trees. Their biological, historical and cultural importance is slowly being recognised together with their aesthetic appeal and the unique contribution they make to the landscape. These trees are as much a part of our heritage as stately homes, cathedrals and works of art and are the favoured subject of many important paintings and engravings. Kent is lucky to have more than its fair share and a high proportion of Ashford Borough’s ancient woodland are over 400 years old. Veteran trees also provide a vital home for many insects, birds and bats.

However, there is not much information currently available on the location and status of veteran trees within the Borough. However, this is hopefully all about to change. Kent BTCV have received a grant £47,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out a veteran tree survey of the Borough, which will help save and protect these magnificent trees for generations to come.

How can you get involved?

• BTCV are looking for volunteers to spend a few hours a month surveying and recording veteran trees within the Ashford Borough.

• No previous experience is necessary as BTCV will be providing all volunteers with FREE training on tree related subjects. All survey equipment and tree identification guides will also be provided for volunteers.

• During the course of the two-year project, BTCV will also be organising guided walks, talks, woodland open days and green woodworking events across the Borough.

So if you would like to register your interest for this project or would like further information, then please contact: -
Virginia Hodge, BTCV, Singleton Environmental Centre, Wesley School Road, Ashford, Kent, TN23 5LW.
Tel: 01233 666519. Email: