The Tree Warden Scheme
The Tree Warden Scheme is an initiative led by the Tree Council (a national
registered charity). It is administered nationally by the Tree Council with the
co-operation of Cornwall Council and the Parish and Town Councils. We have a number of dedicated tree wardens in Cornwall but we are extending this network. Cornwall Council are carrying out awareness raising and training events for existing and potential tree wardens, and more are being planned for this year. Please check this page for updates.
How the scheme works
To be a Tree Warden you don’t need to be an expert, only enthusiastic! Being a Tree Warden can often be happily combined with other activities, such as taking children to school, exercising dogs and family walks. Some wardens have demanding jobs; others are unemployed or retired. No training or experience in tree management is needed – just a love of trees and a few hours to spare.
The Tree Council provides each warden with access to training, resources and information. Cornwall Council are also offering some awareness raising and training courses, as well as keeping in touch through emails and newsletters.
The Tree Warden’s role
Tree Wardens are local tree champions who plant, look after and raise awareness for trees in their patch. Tree Wardens work closely with their local community, and with local farmers and landowners. More can be found about the role on the Tree Council website and will be covered in the initial induction sessions. The details of these sessions will be sent directly to the parishes who express an interest.
Why are Tree Wardens needed?
Trees, woods and hedges are disappearing from our landscapes. Cornwall is one of the least wooded counties in the country. There are complex reasons for these losses including:
• changes in farming practices
• urban and historical industrial development
• storms and droughts
There are a number of increasing challenges affecting our trees, such as stress through climate change and new pests and diseases. These include the devastating effects of ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) and Phytophthora on trees such as beech, magnolia and rhododendron.
All these challenges highlight the finite life span of trees. There is a need for an ongoing programme which promotes natural regeneration and woodland management. We also need to plant trees that provide replacements for, as well as enhancing, existing stock. We need to take action now if future generations are to enjoy the beauty and variety of our landscapes. This action will be most effectively taken by the people who know their localities best; and whose communities will gain from the protection and enhancement of the environment.
Monitoring the condition of trees is extremely important and increasingly necessary with the spread of diseases such as ash dieback. Raising awareness of the responsibilities of landowners and managers is also essential.
CONTACT: Cornwall Council Environment Service 0300 1234 202 firstname.lastname@example.org