Primary - Adding to quality of life - social value: 2009 Chilterns Tree Recording Project

Project Title:
Special Trees and Woods of the Chilterns

Education & Training

With the help of a team of volunteers this project hopes to record and research the special trees and woods of the Chilterns.


What’s been undertaken?
Since the start of the project in January 2006 the project has exceeded all expectations. Public interest has been overwhelming, resulting in the recruitment of a 40-strong team of committed project volunteers. A wide variety of tasks were undertaken by volunteers to suit their interests and available spare time, as well as helping to meet the aims and objectives of this Heritage Lottery Fund project.

After two years into the three and a half year project, the volunteers have recorded more than 400 special trees* and clocked up more than 400 days of volunteer work on their compulsory timesheets. This is converted to more than £58,000 and is used as match funding.

Monthly volunteer events, a regular newsletter, an annual conference and events such as art exhibitions serve to maintain a strong interest from the Chilterns public and keep levels of media coverage high.

* The concept of ‘special’ adopted was a deliberately broad one. Alongside conventional environmental aspects and features, many trees were deemed ‘special’ for local heritage reasons, with recorded trees having various associations with, for instance, in one case dead marmosets, in another a plane crash and in one instance a connection to Gilbert & Sullivan.

This is a good example of community engagement, volunteer management and public relations.

Future developments
After the success of the first half of the project, developments are likely to take the project beyond the original 31/2-year plan.

01844 355 525

1 ANGST: Acceptable Natural Green Space Standards, developed by Natural England, see Research Report #153 for details.

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