All trees, but especially veteran trees, are important and beautiful features of our landscape. They give changing colour and interest through the seasons and remind us of our closeness to the natural world, even in built up areas.
An ancient tree is one that makes you go ‘wow, it’s huge, fatter than any other tree like that round here’. It will be really fat, but probably not that tall, as like old people they shrink down with age. Like people, trees grow and age at different rates depending on where they are and what happens to them during their lifetime.
A 'veteran tree' is usually in the second or mature stage of its life and has important wildlife and habitat features including: hollowing or associated decay fungi, holes, wounds and large dead branches. It will generally include old trees but also younger, middle aged trees where premature aging characteristics are present.
A tree of local importance, or of personal significance to the individual recorder is called a 'notable tree'. This includes specimen trees or those considered to be potential, next generation veteran trees.
From the Ancient Tree Hunt
To mark the tenth anniversary of the launch of Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association (WDVTA) in 2007, we are publishing this Report to document our activities and achievements in order to share this milestone with our many supporters, members and the wider Wokingham community. In it we also outline how we intend the WDVTA's core activities and membership will develop to address the environmental challenges that the Borough of Wokingham is facing.
Our main activity has been the surveying of the Borough's veteran trees, the results of which have been recorded in our database and mapped on our web site at wdvta.org.uk. We also organise walks, public talks and other events of interest to those who love trees, share our concerns for the environment and are aware of the invaluable role that trees play in all our lives.
In this Report we aim to tell residents of Wokingham about the work of the WDVTA as well as bring our own members up to date with their achievements. We want to stimulate everybody's interest in Wokingham's trees so they can actively participate in (or at least become aware of) the preservation of Wokingham's natural heritage. In this way we hope the community will work with us to respond to the many threats our trees are facing and help us contribute to their welfare and management.
This Report only summarises the results of our town and parish survey, but you will find full descriptions, more photographs and detailed survey results at our online map at http://www.wdvta.org.uk/WDVTS/index.php. You will find that many trees mentioned in this Report are tagged with a Master Record Number (MRN). This is a unique identifier assigned by the survey and can be used to find trees via the map. Please take a look - and if you find your favourite tree is missing please let us know - we always welcome corrections and updates to our records.
Over the ten years our experience has grown and developments such as better photographic techniques, GPS technology and online mapping have improved the survey accuracy. We look forward to the next 10 years, helping Wokingham to protect its existing veterans and plant saplings which will become veterans of the future.
We would like to thank our members for their dedication and achievements over the past 10 years and have included a full list of acknowledgements.
We hope you enjoy this Report and will join us in marking this significant anniversary of the WDVTA.
The Anniversary Report Team
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