You know how it is. Sometimes, in an unguarded moment, you ask a question without thinking about the consequences…
Recently, the village wildlife group was considering what they could do in and around the village. I had seen something about a giveaway of trees organised by the Tree Council through their Volunteer Tree Warden initiative, and I thought, “We could plant some trees to improve the habitat for wildlife.” So I asked whether the Parish had a tree warden.
In hindsight perhaps the Chairman of the Parish Council was the wrong person to ask, but he was there and it was reasonable to assume that he would know the answer. Unfortunately he was also quicker on the uptake than me and said, “No. Would you like to be one?” Never very good at thinking on my feet, I couldn’t come up with a sufficiently plausible excuse, and that was that. I am now the volunteer tree warden for Little Melton Parish.
Perhaps I should explain at this point that I have no particular expertise when it comes to trees, and when it comes to village initiatives, whilst I’m always ready to help, I generally avoid actually organising anything. So I am now well and truly out of my comfort zone!
It has been explained to me that this is a volunteer position and so I am free to do as much or as little as I like, and the Parish has never had a tree warden before, so anything I do will be an improvement. But, I like to do things properly, and the original question was asked with the intention of planting trees, so my goal is to expand and diversify the tree stock in the Parish.
It was a little late to take part in the giveaway this year (phew), so I have a year to plan and get organised. Armed with a good tree guide I’ve started a survey of existing trees and have already noticed an improvement in my identification skills. I’ve also found that people are very keen to show me what’s growing in their garden. We have our fair share of Oak and Ash trees, but I would never have guessed we had a Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) or two Dawn Redwoods (pictured on the left) (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)!
I’m slowly adding the survey information to a Google MyMap, which can be accessed by anyone, and hope to be able to interest the village in a planting initiative next autumn/winter. If that’s successful who knows where it might lead?
If you have an interest in trees and would like to become a volunteer tree warden, visit the Tree Council site.