I love trees. Don’t know why, always have. There’s just something about their size, presence and history that fascinates me. I especially love “ugly” trees. The real old veterans. Battle torn but beautiful.
Today I went to a tree event organised by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. Last year they launched their Dorset Greenwood Tree Project (DGTP), and they are trying to survey all the old, veteran trees in Dorset. Some trees are famous, others are tucked away down forgotten footpaths or in the middle of housing estates. They want to record them all and they are calling on volunteers to help them do it.
Fungi on rotting wood
As I’m already looking for these ugly trees for the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Hunt, it made sense for me to get involved in this as well (as it’s on my doorstep, so to speak). At today’s event Emma Brawn, who is running the DGTP, gave us a background talk on the aims of the project, and then Bryan Edwards from the Dorset Environmental Records Office talked to us about the different things that live on trees and “age” indicators – ranging from fungi and beetles to lichens.
Lichen on the Dogwood tree in my garden
It was all fascinating stuff. I had no idea that some lichens are only found on trees that are more than 250 years old. How do the lichens know???
Unfortunately the event was very badly attended. Even though 10 people were supposed to turn up, only 5 did, and 3 of those went home half way through. What is wrong with people? They moan when they see their countryside torn up by diggers, but they aren’t prepared to spend an afternoon (at no cost) learning how they can help to record what we still have. It makes me so mad!
Anyway, after surveying this lovely tree above (the faithful three) the day came to an early close (due to pouring rain) and Hilly (on the far left) and I retired to the local farm shop for a hot mug of coffee (or two) and put the world to rights.
Roll on summer!