Leicester City Council’s volunteer Tree Wardens, Coordinated by Penny Brown, Volunteer Co-ordinator in the Parks Department, met for the very first time in person last week. The health crisis meant that the group had to put many of their plans and activities on hold, including postponing their 2020 launch. The good news is that they are now more eager than ever to get going for the year ahead!
The Tree Council’s Sam Village and Juliette Colaco were delighted to join the new group at the historic Abbey Park in the city centre for a truly wonderful tree-themed morning of discovery and exploration.
The first activity of the day was a training session on the art of winter tree identification using buds and branches – particularly challenging at a time when there are few leaves to give any clues. Led by Local Authority Tree Officer Dave Jones, the group walked through the park’s awe-inspiring variety of native and exotic tree species, identifying more than 25 different species – a challenge for even the most experienced of Tree Wardens! Several of the Leicester City Tree Wardens are involved in developing tree trails for local parks across the city, and this newly-developed skill in tree ID will be sure to come in handy.
Afterwards, Sam and Juliette led a workshop exploring the role of Leicester City’s Tree Wardens in raising awareness and engagement across city schools as part of The Tree Council’s Young Tree Champions and Orchards for Schools programmes. The session was joined by Marc Tench, Eco-Schools Education Officer at Leicester City Council, who welcomed the involvement of volunteer Tree Wardens with schools across the city. Marc noted that the link with his own work supporting schools to achieve their Eco-school and Green Flag awards, was invaluable.
The Tree Council are really excited to see such enthusiasm from this new network. Their commitment to making trees matter in their local community by working alongside the Local Authority and The Tree Council’s national school programmes is exceptionally inspiring.
We look forward to working with Leicester City Tree Wardens and seeing roots taking hold as ideas and interest blossom!
Don’t forget to apply by 7 March if you want to get an Orchards for Schools planting pack before the end of March 2022. If your school is planning on planting later in the year, apply after June 2022. Please note that only schools can register for planting packs.