Conservation group St George's Trust launch a new Heritage Tree Register for Nottinghamshire
A conservation group has launched a new Heritage Tree Register for Nottinghamshire.
St George’s Trust for Conservation believes any tree that forms an important part of landscape, whether in towns or countryside, should receive special protection.
In addition, the trust is seeking entries from individual members of the public on behalf of old trees which hold a special place in people’s hearts or may be becoming rare or endangered.
Sara Chadd, of North Muskham, a trust spokesman, said: “If people know of a tree, even in someone’s garden or on a verge that they care about, we want to hear from them.
“We are seeking entries for all old trees and especially old fruit trees such as Bramleys, which are becoming rare.
“The need for this register was sparked by the felling of an ancient Bramley apple tree in a garden. It was felled right in the midst of the nesting season and was already a haven for a number of songbird pairs and bluetits as well as being an attraction for bats.
“Bramley apple trees of this age are a rare commodity and there are several nationwide collections devoted to saving any descendants of the original Southwell Bramley.”
The Royal Horticultural Society has taken cuttings from the root stock of the tree to investigate its age and significance.
Thw society’s horticultural specialist, Jim Arbury, said: “It will be interesting to see how the rootstock develops and what a nursery may have been using over 100 years ago.”
“We have pulled out all the stops to try and help this particular tree,” Sara said.
“We are in touch with the National Fruit Tree Collection at Brogdale in Kent and locally with Brackenhurst, Nottingham Trent University, who have a Bramley project on site.
“We have even involved Chris Packham from television’s Nature Watch.
“We all need to be a lot more aware of the impact our individual choices have on other species and the environment. Ultimately we ourselves are responsible for their lives as well as our own. ”
The trust is looking at a number of options in negotiation with the owners of the felled Bramley, which could include digging out and transporting the rootstock to a new home, where it will be encouraged to put out new shoots, taking cuttings of new growth from the felled tree for grafting on to alternative rootstocks and extracting genetic material for cloning ion the hope of continuing the Nottinghamshire Bramley strain.
“Trees can be supported with defensive structures to prevent branch-break, as well as being removed to safer sites with modern technology,” Sara said.
“It doesn’t have to be expensive and it is a lasting benefit to wildlife.”
Jenni Harding, from the Protecting Newark’s Green Spaces group, said: “Trees and green spaces are under threat everywhere we look these days.
“I’m part of a wider group dedicated to protecting Newark’s Green Spaces and we have recently been taking direct action to protect trees under threat in our town.
“The proposed tree register launched by the St. George’s Trust is a good idea, there are many trees in Newark where Tree Protection Orders (TPO’s) have not been permitted for unknown reasons, and this would be a way for everyone concerned to bring attention to old, valued and rare trees of any type.
“We need to protect the original planting histories of our towns and villages.
“100 to 250 year old trees tell us a story about where we live as well as provide shelter, food, homes and roosting for various species, some unique to our area.”
To help nesting birds and other species, many European countries including Ireland, have banned tree-felling and even hedge-cutting between March 1 and September 1.
St George’s Trust is lobbying to have the law changed in the UK to encourage birds and bats to roost and nest without disturbance from spring to autumn.
On the wider picture, Sara said: “Councils will permit felling of any tree which is diseased or dangerous. Many old trees are hollow or have ivy growing up them. But this should not mean the end of the tree which provides a vital natural resource.
“Plus where would Nottinghamshire be without the Major Oak, which is a seriously hollow tree and one of Britain’s greatest national tourist attractions?”
St George’s Trust is offering a tree rescue service with advice on how to save trees, both in their current position and by propagating.
Go to www.stgeorgestrust.org or search for St George’s Trust on Facebook.