The Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Hunt Campaign is now under way. The Trust plans to create a living map of ancient trees across the UK and hopes to involve thousands of volunteers in the campaign to track down ancient trees and enter the details on the web site www.ancient-tree-hunt.org.uk. By 2011 the Trust hopes to have recorded at least 100,000 specimens which will help to protect these natural assets for generations to come.
The hunt also aims to reconnect communities with their past, some historic trees have fascinating links to historic events. I can remember a school trip to see the Wilberforce tree, an ancient oak in Kent under which William Wilberforce was supposed to have sat and discussed the abolition of slavery. The oak was very old and hollow and enclosed by railings and having some shackles around it to remind people of its story.
The Trust is looking to recruit people as verifiers, who will be able to check the entries for trees in their area. For people looking to see how old some of our trees are we are planning to measure and record some of our older trees on Sunday 25th November at the start of National Tree Week.