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Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association
10th Anniversary Report

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Report index

  1. Introduction
  2. How we started
  3. Activities
  4. Parishes & Towns
  5. What we have learned
  6. Looking forward
  7. References
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Map
  10. Appendix - Table of Parish Data

Miscellaneous photos

Looking forward

Survey

We will continue to work on the survey in the towns and parishes which have not yet been completed. This is particularly important in the few parishes where we do not currently have a coordinator. Through the publication of this Report we hope to attract new members in these areas and set up local surveying groups. As our surveyors complete their own parishes they will move on to as yet uncompleted areas.

Our earliest records lacked accuracy because of surveying inexperience and poorer technology so we will continue to improve our records by verification, additional surveys and by monitoring tree loss. Photographs will be added where missing, aiming for a coverage of at least 90% of the database.

We are planning to correct the under-recording of smaller species like hawthorn, field maple and holly as well as species such as willows that were frequently pollarded. We aim to identify those trees that in previous years were too small to be included but have since grown larger and so qualify for adding to the database. We will return to survey the trees in those areas where we have not yet been granted access whenever the land becomes accessible.

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Publications

3 WDVTA leaflets

Our quarterly newsletter Tree Watch is widely read both within the Borough and has a growing readership further afield. This publication will keep in touch with our members as well as providing tree-related material to a wider audience.

front page Tree Watch

We will support and work with parish and town councils to use our survey data in their publications. Leaflets they produce on local walks are popular and we would particularly like these to include our tree information for added interest. We will continue to publish our own walking guides.

When parish coordinators complete their surveys we will encourage them to produce a report for their area. When the whole Borough has been surveyed this Report will be updated and reissued.

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Tree Wardens

New hedge trees near Magpie and Parrot, Shinfield

Tree Wardens are closely involved in their local communities and we hope to have at least one in each parish and town to participate in activities such as assessing the impact of development plans on neighbourhood trees and taking part in projects such as the planting of specimen trees, hedges and community orchards.

Our Hedge Tree project will continue by promoting the identification of potential specimens in existing hedges and encouraging owners to allow these saplings to become mature hedge trees. We will also promote the planting of new trees in existing and new hedges.

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Events

Shinfield Walk

Events are planned to be of interest to members and non-members alike. There will be training events for new surveyors and talks by specialists on a wide range of tree-related topics. We will organise walks both within the Borough and further afield ensuring that they continue to be friendly and sociable occasions where everyone has the opportunity to discover our woodlands, countryside and other places of interest.

By creating links with local societies, social clubs and groups we can bring tree-related material and activities to their events and campaigns to extend their appeal to a wider audience. We will increase our participation in community events such as fairs, shows and other public occasions, giving us the opportunity to welcome new members to the WDVTA.

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Website

The website will adapt in response to feedback from members and other visitors, publishing information reflecting their interests and concerns. We want to be the first stop information resource for anyone wanting to know about Wokingham’s trees, from questions of identification and care through to tree-related matters arising from the Borough’s breakneck pace of changes in land use.

As internet technology evolves we aim to ensure that the website continues to be easily accessible from all popular devices ranging from desktops and handhelds to gadgets yet to be developed.

We plan to develop and expand our presence on social media such as Facebook.

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Beyond 2017

“Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.”

Albert Schweizer

We hope you have enjoyed reading this report and now have a better idea of the aims of the WDVTA, what we have achieved and how much more there is to do at this time of unprecedented pressure on our environment.

Veteran trees are really green monuments, as important historically as many old buildings that are culturally valued. The contribution that trees make to the Borough's natural and cultural heritage will only be secured for future generations if we protect, preserve and value the splendid old trees that we have as well as ensure we plant and nurture younger ones to succeed them when they eventually die.

Can we ask you just to pause and consider this: the majority of the veteran trees in our survey were growing long before any of the current residents of the Borough were born. The majority of these trees should outlive all of the current Borough residents. An oak tree life span is at least twice that of a human. An oak tree planted today will not reach the maturity of those we have surveyed until at least the middle of the next century.

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