Branches Everywhere

More on the blossoming Herefordshire Tree Warden Network from hugely respected local tree hugger Richie Cotterill…

I love trees! I photograph them obsessively as they change with the seasons, the weather and vividly reflect the natural cycles of life, decay and rebirth. They are all individuals, exhibiting adaptations to their unique environments. New discoveries are giving us amazing insights into the incredibly complex inter-relationships between trees and the wood-wide-web, the rhizospherebetween their roots. Humans have been managing trees for firewood and timber thousands of years; sometimes sustainably but all too often with self-defeating destruction. Over the last 100 years we have given up many traditional woodland practices and abandoned the hard labour involved for the convenient temptations of fossil fuels.

I burn wood to warm our home and I’m always looking for “groovy” sources of renewable firewood. I believe passionately that trees are a part of the solution to the effects of Climate Change and to increased human well-being. As part of Kington Local Environment & Energy Network (KLEEN) we have been planting public fruit trees as a contribution to local food security. 

When I was appointed Tree Warden 3 years ago there was no job description, remit, powers or budget. There was also no local support network available as the County Council had cut funding to the previous County Tree Warden Network in around 2008. Re-established independently just over a year ago, the Herefordshire Tree Warden Network (HTWN) has helped to increase the number of Wardens in the County back up to nearly 40 (and rising). We provide Parish Tree Wardens with opportunities for mutual support, training and advice. Last year we held excellent training sessions on Ash Dieback and other tree diseases; winter tree identification; surveying & mapping; veteran tree management; legal issues with TPO’s, Conservation Areas etc. This year we are looking forward to sessions on community orchards, woodland & hedgerow management, coppicing & pollarding, garden & street tree issues and etc.

Nationally, we are one of only four independent County Tree Warden Networks; the others being directly supported by their County (Metropolitan or Borough) Councils. HTWN’s voluntary work is funded through annual subscriptions from Parish Councils in support of their local Tree Wardens. Tree Wardens get access to our free training programme plus the support of the Tree Council and their free publications including the excellent Tree Warden Handbook.

Would YOU like to be a Tree Warden?

With branches everywhere we can make a significant impact on the conservation, development and celebration of the wonderful trees of Herefordshire. If you want to know more, please contact Richie Cotterill on:

Tel: 01544 231236 or 07777 661252



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