Durham Veteran Trees Forum

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John Durkin


Update March 2012 - The Durham Veteran Trees project has now finished. If you require any information about the results of the project please contact Durham Biodiversity Partnership on 0191 5843112. We are still collecting any veteran tree records so please continue to submit your surveys. Thank you to everyone who participated over the two year period.

The Durham Biodiversity Partnership Veteran Trees Project is a two year scheme aimed at raising the public awareness of veteran trees. So why are veteran trees important?

National Heritage

Veteran trees, by their very definition, have been alive for hundreds - if not thousands - of years, longer than most buildings. In fact, if a building was as old as some veteran trees, they would be protected by legislation. Trees do not have this privilege, despite the fact that they are alive!

Many trees have stories attached to them that could be well known locally, regionally, nationally, or even internationally.

Not only are veteran trees important because they have been around for centuries, but their presence can provide a certain serenity and peace to anyone who happens to see them, or lie beneath them, or attempt to wrap their arms around them!

Trees that have reached their 'mature state' are perfect habitats for many species of plant, animal and fungus, even some endangered species such as the barbastelle bat and the red cardinal beetle.

Even when a veteran or ancient tree dies, it continues to be a home and source of food for hundreds of individuals.

Populations that live on or in veteran trees provide food for other forms of life that live around the trees and help sustain the health of the environment around the tree itself.

Ancient woodlands and other sites that contain veteran trees help to boost the health of the environment for us as well as other creatures!

This project is linked with the Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Hunt and works on a similar principle. It calls upon anybody who is interested in preserving Britain's veteran and ancient trees to record where these trees are and the girth of each, as well as any other adition information that you can give. Not only is the project asking you for your own tree records, but there will also be volunteer days that anybody can attend and learn how to survey veteran trees in more detail as well as meet people and learn more about veteran trees all whilst visiting some of the most beautiful areas of the country! Also, if you are a landowner with veteran or ancient trees on your land, this project is determined to distribute any management information regarding veteran trees that you would need to preserve the trees.

Find out how you can take part in the survey

Last Updated: 20th July