Fulfilling the need for a National Tree Forum

Fulfilling the need for a National Tree Forum

There are many people throughout Britain who have a great interest in and love of trees. They are not necessarily tree huggers, tree surgeons, tree consultants, council tree officers. They are the ordinary man and woman in the street who has a wish to learn more about trees, to visit arboreta, to see more trees being planted, to plant them themselves and to protect those trees we have in our towns, cities, parks, gardens and amenity woodlands.

Originally "The Men of the Trees" (later to become the International Tree Foundation) was founded in 1924 by the internationally-known and charismatic Richard St. Barbe Baker, a forester, who planted trees in Canada, the USA and Africa and whose desire to see more trees planted to change the deserts of the world inspired people to get together to plant trees themselves.
Branches, yes "branches", of The Men of the Trees established themselves throughout Britain. For over 80 years, people had a vehicle through which they could develop their interest in trees and satisfy their urge to plant more trees for all the benefits that trees can offer. Yet in 2009, ITF was struggling financially. It felt the need to close its branches and focus on disseminating the monies donated as parts of legacies for "greening the deserts".

It is because of this vacuum in the tree world that a new and national tree group is to be formed. A National Tree Forum would cater for all people with an interest in trees be they professionals in the tree industry or ordinary tree enthusiasts with an interest as expressed above. Its ideas and ideals need to be debated in detail but, in principle, it would be a huge tree interest group with the ability, too, to act as a pressure group to urge our governments to exert more measure of control over tree pests and diseases entering Britain which have greatly increased in the last two decades. It could have a watching brief over developments in the future of Forestry Commission forests. It could influence views on the planting of trees in towns and be influential in discussions on any changes to tree protection legislation.

The inaugural meeting of a National Tree Forum will take place at 2.00pm on SATURDAY, 12TH NOVEMBER 2011 in the Doubleday Hall at GARDEN ORGANIC near Ryton-on-Dunsmore CV8 3LG.which is 5 miles south east of Coventry http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/gardens/gettorog.php (The Doubleday Hall is accessed via the restaurant. Booking is recommended If you would like to have lunch at the restaurant (tel. 024 76308213) as Saturdays are busy.) Everyone interested in the National Tree Forum is asked to contact John Tuer and for a place at the inaugural meeting at Ryton, they need to book by the end of September. John is a member of the Severn Tree Trust, a group that has sprung up to replace the previous Shropshire and Montgomery Branch of ITF. Other tree groups exist elsewhere but there is still no countrywide group. So a National Tree Forum could link with such local groups and provide an opportunity for tree interested people with no such group to bring focus to issues that affect trees and woodlands.

We really look forward to seeing as many as can be at this inaugural meeting so please phone John Tuer (01952 727642) email tree.forum@yahoo.co.uk