Suffolk Tree Warden Network’s first AGM – what a success!
The Suffolk Tree Warden Network recently held its Spring Forum and its very first AGM, on a gorgeously sunny mid-April day.
This was no ordinary or dull AGM!
Hosted within the nostalgic atmosphere of the Red Feather Club, a museum of the 95th Bomb Group who flew during WW2, approximately 70 Tree Wardens from Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk came together for a very inspirational day.
We heard from Jon Stokes with an update on national tree issues and found out about the new and exciting developments at The Tree Council, which included announcing the arrival of our new Chief Executive, Sara Lom.
Orchards are often close to a Tree Warden’s heart, and Paul Read from Orchards East & Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group called for help to survey, record and restore old orchard sites across East Anglia.
Tom Brown, from Green Light Trust, presented on the inspirational work that this charity does, and touched the hearts of all that attended the AGM. This charity helps people in crisis, under stress, or students who respond better to non-traditional forms of education. By learning practical skills such as planting trees, woodcraft and woodland management, vulnerable people form an appreciation for trees while improving confidence and wellbeing. This insightful presentation was continued in a more practical way later in the afternoon, within a neighbouring wood.
Suffolk’s Tree Wardens also brainstormed together and shared their thoughts in a workshop that explored the role of Tree Wardens and how to create more opportunities for training and knowledge sharing. With ideas flowing and lots of chatter, many of the Tree Wardens mentioned that just getting together and having the opportunity to network and swap ideas was invaluable.
By the afternoon, the sun was well and truly out, and so were we! Our walk in the woods, which is owned by David Mitchell and right next door to the venue, was also filled with interesting presentations and activities. The wood is regularly used by Green Light Trust for various projects and circled around a fire on wooden seats made in and from David’s wood, one of the activities included learning how to make a fire and do a little woodcraft.
While out in the wood, we also heard about the importance of trees for bat species, saw a demonstration of a variety of machinery for woodland management and heard a presentation on tree diversity and thoughts on replacing Ash trees stricken with Ash Die Back.
The afternoon ended with a celebratory cake! Thirty years ago, David bought the very wood we walked through, and over the years transformed it from being impenetrable to a well-managed, profitable woodland that is accessible and enjoyable to walk through.
Organising the entire day was Tree Warden Co-ordinator, Frances Jannaway, who together with a strong committee certainly did a marvellous job of bringing together the opportunity to learn and share knowledge about trees, as well as enjoying an insightful stroll through a lovely wood… and of course an excellent lunch and cake!
A great day all in all!