|The Hunt for Hounslow’s Veteran Trees Begins|
Ecology Officers start search to find borough's oldest specimens
CIP’s Ecology Officers are currently undertaking a project to identify all of Hounslow’s veteran trees and need the help of those living and working in the borough.
The tree ‘hunt’ aims to locate, measure and map all of the veteran trees in Hounslow. As well as providing useful information about the borough’s wildlife, the information gathered will be supplied to the Ancient Tree Forum and Woodland Trust who are in the process of mapping all veteran trees across Britain.
Veteran or ancient trees are very special and can be identified by their size, age and condition. Some trees are clearly old and instantly recognisable while others may not grow to a great size but they may be veterans for their species.
As well as an important part of our heritage, Britain has one of the largest stock of old surviving trees in Europe. In the words of Oliver Rackham, the leading expert in the historic landscape of the UK, “10,000 oaks of 100 years-old are not a substitute for one 500 year-old oak.”
Many of these veteran trees have cultural associations with people places or events, such as the three hundred years old Mulberry Tree at Hogarth’s House in Chiswick which was bought over in a vain attempt to breed silk worms.
Veteran trees are of exceptional value to a wide range of wildlife including gathering spots for many species of bats, holes in old trees for nesting owls, rare fungi only found on our oldest trees and moths that can only exist in old wood habitats.
CIP’s Ecology Officer, Adam Cheeseman, said, “What we want to know from the public is where all the very old trees are in the borough. We are already covering the parks, open spaces and cemeteries, so we really want to hear about those veteran trees that are in people’s back gardens, other private lands, schools, or anywhere else that they know of.”
The veteran tree hunt project is part of Hounslow’s Biodiversity Action Plan. On completion the inventory of trees will guide future management and protection.
If anyone has information about a local veteran or ancient tree they can contact CIP’s Ecology Officers Adam Cheeseman or Chris Slack on 020 8577 3664.
September 25, 2006