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Volunteer verifier training days

Volunteer Verifiers start training for the Ancient Tree Hunt

Volunteer verifiers start out on the hunt.

The first training sessions for volunteer verifiers have taken place. The Ancient Tree Hunt team have completed their grand tour and started at the top of the United Kingdom in Scotland.


Thirteen potential verifiers were trained at Dalkeith on 20th January 2007.

They spent the morning exploring this brand new web site, discovering the tools that will be essential to the verifiers trade and preparing for the flood of records that will soon be coming in from the public.

In the afternoon they braved the howling gales to test their skills at measuring and identifying Ancient Trees.

Lots of positive feedback was given including these words of encouragment received by the ATH team.

"Just a short note to say thanks for a great day. The whole day was very informative, interesting and enjoyable. It was very professionally organised and conducted and I would like to say a big thanks again to the ATM team for showing such enthusiasm, commitment, dedication not to mention friendly personalities which went along way in making the day what it was." Keith Burgoyne

"Thanks for an enjoyable and informative day given by a team of such staggering expertise and infectious enthusiasm." Ted Radford

The North

Skipton and Bolton Abbey was the venue for the North of England on January 27th. Fourteen people, from all walks of life joined together to learn about how they could help safe guard Ancient Trees for the future and become volunteer verifiers.

A similar day involving a combination of web based training and tree hugging took place with lots of enthusiastic volunteers.

"Thanks for your hard work on Saturday - It was an interesting session which brought home to me what a huge undertaking the project is and how long term it has to be. I go walking somewhere in North Yorkshire every week and it's alarming how often I see big trees cut down for no obvious reason. I really hope that the project will help people, particularly land owners to appreciate the value of irreplaceable big trees in the landscape." Frank Firth

The South West

Next on the national training tour was Exeter, on March 3rd. Volunteers from all corners of the south west area attended to learn more about how to be a volunteer verifier.

Our guest speaker was Keith Alexander, who spoke about notable local trees, before the training relocated to Killerton Park so the outdoor aspect of verifying could be demonstrated. Another successful session completed, and a weekend off before the next event....

The South East

Twenty-two people from the south east region attended our training day on 10th March 2007 at Slough - travelling from as far afield as Essex, Sussex and Wiltshire.

It was a gloriously sunny day - which is lucky as we had the added excitement of being filmed for a training DVD by another WT volunteer. Outdoor training took place in Langley Park and our star speaker was our own Jill Butler. This event was the most well attended of all those carried out so far, so the enthusiasm for the project is spreading.

"It was great fun, very inspirational and the developments made to the website are superb.

I have scoured e-bay this evening and acquired a well priced GPS and measuring tape and can't wait to get spotting! Hopefully you'll accept me as a verifier in due course." Martin Strike

East Midlands

Fourteen enthusiast volunteers were trained in the art of being a verifier at Loughborough on the March 17th. The outdoor training took place at a very sunny (if rather windy!) Bradgate Park and we all enjoyed an inspirational talk from Mick Boddy regarding local ancient trees and his fascinating work. With the training for the English regions completed, our next stop is North Wales....

North Wales

The first of our Welsh training sessions took place in Wrexham at the end of March. The outdoor training took place at the local National Trust site of Chirk Castle which is blessed with some wonderful ancient trees.

Northern Ireland

With the English and Scottish verifier training completed, we moved onto new ground carrying out some training in Northern Ireland in April. A small but dedicated group gathered together to enjoy the trees in Belvoir Forest Park and to learn the tricks of the trade.

South Wales

Our final leg of training concluded on a scorching June day. Fourteen fine tree enthusiasts met in the grounds of Dinefwr Castle to marvel at the ancient trees that make up the landscape around Llandeilo. The group were treated to an inspirational talk by the Project Warden and given exclusive access to areas of the park normally unavailable to the public - a worth while reward for the hard work required to be a volunteer verifier.

With 100 volunteers now on board accross the whole of the UK we would like to thank everyone who is involved in helping to verify the publics records.

If you want to become a verifier in your area, training will begin again in 2008. Please contact our coordinator who is collating details for future courses

Measuring Trees.Photo/Jon Parsons

A hug unravelled.Photo/Jon Parsons