Monthly Archives: June 2016

Talking Trees

This year the Talking Trees volunteer speaker scheme celebrates its 25th year of talking to people about woods and trees.  This was started by the Head of Public Affairs at the Woodland Trust, and there are about 70 speakers today, including scientists, authors, engineers, teachers and at least one vicar who have spoken to over 200,000 people.

For many speakers, talking about trees is only the start as many are actively involved in planting trees, guiding walks, supporting events and campaigning.  We really couldn’t achieve all that we do without them.

You can find out more here. 

Posted in: Latest News |

2016/17 Fruit Tree List Now Out

c. Nick Dunn, Trees for Life.

Our new list of 600+ fruit trees and bushes is now available. For the 5th year we are sourcing our trees & bushes from the same top- quality supplier and are selling them at discounted prices. Trees can be ordered now and can be collected from Ashton Court Bristol, in early November. Find out more here.

Posted in: Garden Forest & Allotment Orchard, Latest News | Tagged |

Tree of the Year

The Woodland Trust is asking us all to nominate our Tree of the Year.  Nominations are open to any living tree in the UK and any individual, group or organisation can enter a tree until midnight on Friday 29 July.  Winning trees from previous years are excluded from nomination.

An independent panel of experts in each of the four UK countries will choose a shortlist from the entries submitted and winning trees in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be decided by a public vote between 19 September and 9 October 2016.

Later in the year, each country’s individual Tree of the Year will go on to represent their nation in the 2017 European Tree of the Year competition, organised by the Environmental Partnership Association.

You can nominate your tree here.

Although this sounds a bit like the Eurovision song contest, that’s no reason not to get involved.  Wouldn’t it be great if a tree in the Forest of Avon won!

Posted in: Latest News |

The Woodland Trust asks for help

The Woodland Trust says that one of the UK’s most iconic landscapes around Loch Arkaig, is in urgent need of help.  The Trust has been given the opportunity to buy woodland of international importance.

The Loch Arkaig Pine Forest combines two areas of native Caledonian pine, oak and birch woodland.  The 1,200 acre western wood, Coille a Ghuibhais (‘the pine forest’) and the 1,300 acre eastern wood, An t-Seann Fhrith (‘the old deer forest’) together comprise one of the largest remaining fragments of ancient Caledonian pinewood in Scotland.

The Trust notes that the forest is not in good shape because of clear-felling in the 18th century, the planting of non-native conifers in the 1960s, grazing by sheep and deer, and  training exercises by commando units during the Second World War.

Although this is a long way from the Forest of Avon, it’s a valuable (in every sense) and iconic landscape.  You can read more, and donate, here.


Posted in: Latest News |

The Białowieża Forest

Last week, the BBC’s Hugh Sykes reported on The Białowieża Forest, which lies between Belarus and Poland.

This is said to be Europe’s last significant primeval forest which may be under threat from commercial logging and the bark beetle.

Sykes says that the government in Warsaw has more than tripled the quantity of timber that they will permit to be extracted, and that naturalists say that allowing more logging in Białowieża defeats its purpose as a World Heritage Site.  Foresters say they need to remove more wood so that they can make a decent living.  They also want to remove dead trees  because they say that the rotting ‘cadavers’ blight the beauty of the forest, and that tourists don’t like them because they spoil their photographs.

All this seems a familiar story as various groups vie for their own interests, and what constitutes appropriate management is contested.  The story has rich detail on all this.  Meanwhile, you can hear what a primeval forest sounds like on the BBC website

Posted in: Latest News |

June 17th is Empty Classroom Day

And where better to spend it than in the Forest of Avon where there are opportunities galore for activities to remind school pupils that there is life, meaning and sheer enjoyment outside the classroom.

Click here for details.  We hope to see you in the Forest.

Posted in: Latest News |

Local Schools Plant Orchards

10 schools from across the area learnt about the benefits of trees and planted orchards as part of our Schools Orchard project this year. Supported by Western Power Distribution, worked with schools in Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, some of which were also part of the Natural Connections outdoor learning project.

We worked with the following schools, providing guidance, free fruit trees and helping out with planting where needed:

Cameley Primary, Bath & North East Somerset

Welton Primary, Bath & North East Somerset

Ashcombe Primary, North Somerset

Crockerne Primary, North Somerset

Westhaven Special School, North Somerset

Courtney Road Primary, South Gloucestershire

Longwell Green Primary, South Gloucestershire

King’s Forest Primary,  South Gloucestershire

Parkwall Primary, South Gloucestershire

The Meadows Primary, South Gloucestershire.

A big thank you to the hundreds of children who got involved and planted a grand total of 95 fruit trees.

If you would like to sponsor an orchard of English fruit trees at a local school, please email:

Posted in: Business Sponsors, Garden Forest & Allotment Orchard, Latest News, Our Projects | Tagged , , |

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Tree Drought

Liverpool Tree Care has published “The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Tree Drought“, and you can read it here.

The guide explains in detail how tree drought occurs and then lists four practical steps you can take to reduce the risk of its happening.



The website has other useful features, such as a focus on Horse Chestnut Bleeding Canker.

Posted in: Future Woods, Latest News, Safeguarding our Trees | Tagged |

Woodland Wellbeing Projects

Central to our ethos has been to demonstrate the value of activities in the natural environment to people’s health and wellbeing. We have run a number of evaluated projects to apply (and develop) best practice in this field.

Our Woodland Wellbeing programme draws upon this practice, applying the principles of Forest School to deliver outdoor activity programmes tailored to the needs of groups including: adults with learning disabilities; people with mental health needs; people living with dementia; and young people at risk of exclusion.

Our work is delivered by Health & Wellbeing Officer: Nicola Ramsden, working with skilled Associate Rachel Tomlinson and/or trained volunteers. We can offer 6, 8, 12 & 16 week programmes and ‘taster days’.

To find out more about our Woodland Wellbeing projects and/or to discuss a new project, please email Nicola at:

Posted in: Latest News, Woodland Wellbeing | Tagged |

30 Days Wild in the Forest of Avon

June is 30 Days Wild month – and the Wildlife Trusts would have us all involved.  They say:

“Feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature by doing something wild every day for thirty days this June.  No matter where you live – from an urban jungle to a windswept mountain – wildlife and wild places are all around, waiting to be discovered by you.”

So, how’s your wildness coming on?  There are lots of opportunities in the Forest of Avon.

Posted in: Latest News |