NEW GROUP: Heritage Trees Kent

This section is for a new group, Heritage Trees Kent, involved in recording heritage trees in Kent. This group (which includes some of Kent’s Tree Wardens) has a range of aims including finding, recognising, promoting and protecting the important, veteran and ancient trees in their local communities. The group will have a key role in protecting these vital components of Kent’s landscape and heritage, in our countryside, villages and towns. Kent Tree Wardens also have these aims, and are very glad to support this new group.

The DRAFT aims may include

  • encouraging this group of core Tree Surveyors to continue to be (or become) competent tree surveyors able to carry out tree surveys and hopefully demonstrate tree surveying techniques to others, such as Tree Wardens and others interested in trees.
  • encouraging this group to continue to individually record important, notable, veteran and ancient trees in Kent on a continuation of the database created by the Kent Heritage Trees Project, or on a new database system.
  • running at least two or three Tree Surveying days every year to visit Kent hot-spots of important, notable, veteran and ancient trees, for further records and updating current records.
  • copying any appropriate new Kent records of veteran and ancient trees to the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Inventory (ATI) records, and updating the ATI as appropriate.
  • providing any appropriate Kent records of important, notable, veteran or ancient trees to landowners, parishes, the Kent Biological Records Centre or other stakeholders wherever possible.
  • encouraging all Tree Wardens and others in the community to help find, survey, report, maintain and protect the trees in their communities, .
  • improving the level of recognition and protection of important, notable, veteran and ancient trees in all areas of Kent.

Kent is particularly lucky in having an excellent interactive map of our important trees, thanks to the Kent Heritage Trees Project organised by the Trust for Conservation Volunteers (TCV), largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Many Tree Wardens supported this Project, gathered information, took photos and completed the surveys of these trees. These are the trees that have been recognised so far as important in Kent – the map can be found on the Kent Heritage Trees website. Why not check out your particular area for the trees located by the end of the Project!

The Kent Heritage Trees Project has now been successfully completed, and the Kent map is now closed for new or updated tree records. In order to be continue to add new comprehensive records, we have set up this new continuation database, which will be the main focus of this group. Here is our new Surveyors Guidance document (coming shortly)!

New records or updates of specific Veteran or Ancient Trees are also going to be transferred to the impressive national Ancient Tree Inventory run by the Woodland Trust, which will then be verified by the current Woodland Trust verifiers in Kent. Again, it is very worthwhile to check out the records on this map for your local area. However, this map is not intended to include younger notable trees, such as memorial or ceremonial trees, and only older trees can be entered.

In addition, recognising the importance of impressive and memorable local trees in Kent, there is now a newly formed Kent branch of the Ancient Tree Forum. The inaugural meeting of the Kent Branch was on Saturday the 3rd of February, 2018, at the internationally important site of Knole Park, Sevenoaks, owned by The National Trust. The Heritage Trees Group may be able to work in parallel with the ATF Kent branch, and would benefit greatly from attending any ATF events possible.

Other groups very interested in these special trees in Kent include, among many others, The Woodland Trust, the Kent Men of The Trees and the Kent Gardens Trust. Heritage Trees Kent and Kent Tree Wardens hope to work in partnership with these organisations, and by working together, to achieve our common aims of recognising and protecting the Tree Heritage of Kent. Here is an excellent link to a guide to “Planning for Ancient Trees” from The Woodland Trust.

This is the guidance provided for Tree Wardens by the Tree Council on TCHandbook_9_AncientTrees  – this chapter of the Tree Wardens Handbook emphasises the use of tree records in local communities to champion and protect our tree heritage.