Most volunteer opportunities to date have focussed on the area’s archaeological and built heritage, but now there is a chance for those more interested in the area’s natural heritage. 

The Woodland Trust is running a training day looking at ancient trees in the landscape and at the threats posed to these and other trees by disease, particularly ash dieback. 

The training day will take place on Friday 8th December at Kirkby Stephen, with an indoor session in the morning, lunch and an afternoon visit to nearby Smardale.

Aims of the day:

  • To learn what key features are used to recognise ancient and veteran trees
  • To learn what is required when recording a tree onto the Ancient Tree Inventory and gain experience of recording a tree
  • To recognise the features which make veteran trees so special for wildlife
  • To learn observation skills required for spotting unhealthy trees and to understand the biological and environmental reasons for the signs and symptoms that we see
  • To provide you with hands on field experience of looking for the signs of specific pests and diseases, specifically Chalara dieback of ash
  • To learn how to complete a Tree Alert record successfully and to understand the importance of taking good photos for tree health diagnosis
  • To learn how to carry out effective biosecurity procedures

Anyone interested must book a place by contacting Helen Jones at the Woodland Trust.  Click on the link and complete the short survey to confirm your place.

Once trained volunteers can then get involved in surveying and recording ancient trees in the area, as well as reporting on diseased trees.