We are delighted to announce the successful launch of the new Brecon Beacons Tree Warden Network, coordinated by Sam Harpur, Brecon Beacons National Park Warden.
Originally planned for early 2020, the group had to wait for the end of Covid-19 restrictions before they could celebrate their launch, which was marked by the planting of the aptly named ‘New Horizon’ elm tree (pictured) gifted to them by The Tree Council to celebrate 30 years of the national Tree Warden Scheme.
For the early years ahead, these new Tree Wardens will focus on mapping the extensive range of amazing ancient and veteran trees scattered across the National Park area, none of which have been visibly recorded to date.
With so much focus already on planting new trees in the area, Sam and his team felt it would be beneficial for Tree Wardens to focus on mapping the trees that are a key part of the cultural, historical and biodiverse landscape that makes the Brecon Beacons so unique. With funding from the Brecon Beacons National Park Sustainability Fund, Sam has been able to purchase equipment to support this vital project, including tablets and tape measures, enabling Tree Wardens to electronically record and map out whilst in the field, including the GPS locations of each tree.
Working in partnership with Mike Higgins, Tree Officer for both Pembrokeshire and Brecon Beacons National Parks and Tree Warden Coordinator for his own local network, they hope to develop a GIS mapping app to support this project, which can then be shared with other Tree Warden Networks across the UK.
Sam adds, “I’m really looking forward to the coming years of building and developing the Brecon Beacons Tree Wardens. Working with the knowledgeable and passionate people around the National Park that share a love of trees to inspiring the youngsters. We have just celebrated our daughter’s first birthday – she’s called Tilia, from the Latin name for lime”.
Sam hopes that in a year or two, the Tree Wardens will have identified the future ‘Champion Tree of the Wales’, and that all the veteran and ancient trees mapped will be a valuable source of information helping to inform the future management plan of this wonderful national park.
For Tree Warden Networks within a National Park or AONB (Area of Outstanding Nature Beauty) contact them direct for information about Sustainability Funds.