Have you considered whether any of your trees may be veterans? They are often distinctively old, with fat and often hollowing trunks.

Many are ancient pollards with reduced crowns that make them resilient to extreme weather. Veteran trees can be found in many situations, from open moors where windswept hawthorns and rowans have been slowly growing for hundreds of years, to ancient hedge banks where a single oak tree may have been a feature for up to a thousand years. In fact, Britain has more ancient oak trees than the rest of Europe put together! Each of these can be thought of as an extra stepping-stone that helps link-up a nationwide network of such trees, which is crucial for the many species that rely on them, some of which are extremely rare.

Mapping these trees helps build a picture of their presence across the countryside. Over time, this will allow us to address threats and identify how best to conserve them for many more generations to come. Recording a veteran tree is also fun and you can see your tree mapped alongside thousands of others across the country. Recording is very simple. As a minimum, only four pieces of information are needed:

  • Grid reference
  • Species
  • Trunk girth at 1.5m above the ground
  • Photographs are helpful

The Woodland Trust take records and map the trees. Find out more by clicking here...