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Ancient Tree ForumThe Tree Register

Annual review 2014

At the end of the year a total of 141,935 trees had been recorded on the ATI. Of these, 94% or 133,046 trees, had been verified. 88% of trees recorded in 2014 have already been verified by volunteers.

In addition to this, there are 16,000 records awaiting to be uploaded via our batch upload system ensuring the ATI will soon exceed 150,000 records. Batch uploads were restricted in 2014 while volunteers helped sort out duplication and other errors created by previous bulk data being added to the website. Functionality of the website itself was also a consideration whilst creating a robust dataset being the primary objective.

75% of verified ATI records fulfil the criteria required in assessing the quality of sites according to Natural England’s Veteran Tree Site Assessment. The protocol is the basis for assessing sites of national quality for designation as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. This 75% is made up of 10,789 ancient trees (8%), 86,048 veteran trees (65%) and an additional 2,743 notable trees >4.7m girth (2%). In total 26,289 trees (excluding coppice) make up the large girthed tree population (20%) whilst some 40% of our ancient trees are actually smaller than this.

Veteran Tree Site Assessment

Quality of Site

High

Medium

Low

No. of Ancient Trees

15+

1 -14

0

No. of Veteran Trees

100+

11 - 99

3-10

No of Trees with large girth >4.7m

15+

6 -14

2-5

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

In 2014 volunteer’s added value to the ATI by assessing sites in more detail and by recording more trees to improve the value of that site. Levens Hall in Cumbria, already a known Grade 1 high value site, was confirmed on the ATI by the recording of 26 ancient trees, 112 veteran trees and having more than 30 trees greater than 4.7m girth. Many more sites have been assessed and continue to be updated by volunteers adding more value to the ATI. The Woodland Trust are using ATI data to identify new hotspots, sites of high value and looking at how these trees relate to and help conserve a resilient landscape. Many sites are now showing their importance just through the trees recorded. House of the Binns in West Lothian, the Nunwell estate on the Isle of Wight, Cwm Byddog in Powys and Baronscourt estate in Co. Tyrone are just a few examples of sites now displayed as being Grade 2 sites of international importance.

Top sites in England, not surprisingly, include; Savernake Forest, Wiltshire; Windsor Great Park, Berkshire; the New Forest, Hampshire; Moccas Park, Herefordshire; Duncombe Park, North Yorkshire and Richmond Park, Greater London, whilst many less known sites are being recognised and in some cases helping to identify lost parkland or wood pasture.

In Scotland we saw the 10,000th tree recorded and verified in 2014 with top sites being the Woodland Trust owned Glen Finglas, Stirling; Cadzow Oaks, South Lanarkshire; Dalkeith Old Oakwood, Midlothian and Glen Affric Forest, Highland. Wales is close to recording its 8,000th tree with top sites Gregynog Great Wood, Powys; Dinefwr Park, Carmarthenshire and Chirk Castle, Wrexham. Northern Ireland will soon have recorded 4,000 trees with Crom Castle and Castle Coole in Co. Fermanagh; Glenarm, Co. Antrim and Castle Ward and Belvoir Park in Co. Down currently their top sites.

92 organisations and their volunteers have contributed 103,000 records to the ATI. The National Trust contributing the largest number with over 20,000, followed by the two key partners working with the Woodland Trust, the Ancient Tree Forum and the Tree Register of the British Isles.

So far over 2,500 individuals have contributed the remaining 39,000 records.