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Derbyshire Wildlife Trust kickstarts veteran tree propagation project

The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is gearing up to propagate thousands of new trees from the county's most important veteran and ancient tree stock. The new initiative called Value in Trees is backed by Defra's The Big Tree Plant and will collect and plant seed from veteran and ancient trees identified in previous surveys. The DWT plans to plant 9,000 trees over the winter of 2012-13.

ATH's Jill Butler sets the scene among Chatsworth's oaks

Photo: David Pinney

To prepare the way, local volunteers from many of the project's partners and DWT members gathered on 14 November 2012 for a training event with the Ancient Tree Hunt at the Chatsworth Estate. More than 20 volunteers from around the county joined experts from the Ancient Tree Hunt, DWT staff and members of the demesne and forestry team of Chatsworth to discuss how the existing data can be put to good use and brush up on key aspects of finding and recording old trees.

Two ancient oaks side by side

Photo: David Pinney

Volunteers and local groups in Derbyshire have already recorded more than four and a half thousand old and important trees in the county thanks to the trust's earlier Great Trees of Derbyshire and Saving the Great Trees of Derbyshire initiatives. All the data collected have been mapped into the Ancient Tree Hunt's publicly accessible online national database. The

The group was very fortunate to be allowed to visit the Deer Park at Chatsworth as their 'classroom' for the afternoon. The park, with its spread of amazing ancient oaks, provided ATH project leader Jill Butler and David Alderman, from the Tree Register, some fascinating examples with which to demonstrate the features and peculiarities of veteran and ancient trees.

David Alderman (left) demonstrates the art of measuring

Photo: David Pinney

The DWT's next related event is a tree planting workshop on 23 November at Hardwick Park. Advance booking required (contact DWT via the link).

Want to hold or attend a veteran/ancient tree training event for local volunteers? Email us at ancienttreehunt@woodlandtrust.org.uk