Monday 30 January 2012

Shropshire's Ancient TreeS (SATS) Project (Sita Trust funded)

As part of a new and exciting project funded by Sita Trust's Enriching Nature Programme and managed by Shropshire Council . I am due to spend the next year travelling the length and breadth of Shropshire either in my camper van; car; bike; sometimes hitch hiking; lots of walking; using buses and trains visiting some of the most amazing ancient trees as part of the project.

Shropshire is a hot spot in the UK to wander and find our ‘hidden gems’ of the countryside…our ancient trees. The UK has it is said up to 80% of northern Europe's’s ancient trees and is rightly known as The European Rain Forest.

Several Champion trees for Shropshire have been found on the project like an 8.23m girth Ash in South Shropshire.

I am also regularly using the Woodland Trust’s newly updated website to pinpoint and record Shropshire’s great old trees. Please visit their site and click on the map of the UK to drill down and find YOUR LOCAL TREES!

Each of these trees has a story to tell, linked in with forgotten tales and folklore from the hidden nooks of Shropshire, e.g. The Spout Oaks, re-discovered old maps and hidden history with this site!

BBC Radio Shropshire's Ryan Kennedy recently visited these great old trees and viewed the old maps.

By revealing these stories we give the tree a character and a place in the hearts and minds of Salopians going back to the Book of Domesday and beyond, we thereby provide the realisation that these Green Monuments be protected for their stories to be told by our grandchildren

Please click here to see some of the great trees that I have already visited in and around Shropshire.

Sunday 5 June 2011

Life's A Beech...



Two lovely old Beech trees are under imminent threat of felling by Shropshire Council.
Planning permission has been applied for and you can NOW comment on the application.
You can email your comments to: (you only have until the 13th June!)
Planning Application No is...11/02359/TCA
My personal thoughts are that the trees should have every avenue explored before a final decision is made, but, please email YOUR thoughts to the above.
Like many others, my family and I regularly walk under these trees and obviously IF they are a danger, then they need to be felled.

Friday 27 May 2011

Tree hunter Rob & Julia Bradbury BBC Countryfile May 2011

I thought it appropriate to walk the 12 miles to meet the 'Queen of Walking' Julia...then when I met here and gave her a kiss she goes..."oh you're all sweaty" I just said "I can only think of that old fashioned word...SWOON"!

Thursday 26 May 2011

Offas Dyke Ancient Tree survey - BBC Countryfile May 2011

Recently, as part of the first ever Offas Dyke Ancient Tree survey I spent the day with the BBC Countryfile team (yes incl. Julia!) at Castle Mill, Chirk North Wales.

My survey feeds data into the Woodland Trust's nationwide project: the Ancient Tree Hunt (ATH).

The survey began in April 2008 and since then I have found many amazing ancient, veteran and notable trees on and near Offas Dyke Path (ODP). The ODP was opened in 1971 and this year is the the 40th anniversary of the path.

See an introduction video for my walk here...

Starting my walk at Prestatyn I have gradually made my way south towards my ultimate goal...Sedbury Cliffs nr Chepstow, approx. 177 miles. In 2003 I walked the whole of Offas Dyke Path after a period of illness. It was a big thing for me to achieve at that time, and 'til this day I still have a great affection for Offas Dyke. It helped to 'repair' me...

On that walk I never 'saw' any trees really... as I only had two I have 'TREE EYES' and have found hundreds of brilliant trees. Including The Oak at the Gate of the Dead which has its own Facebook group (join here...!/group.php?gid=112373675444220

The Oak is situated on Offas Dyke at Castle Mill, Chirk the site of the Battle of Crogen and was perhaps a witness to the battle itself over 800 years ago in 1165.

Other great trees found include The Dragon Oak nr Montgomery. A veteran oak growing on a rocky outcrop with a 9 metre root that looks like a Dragon crawling down the rocks.

Several 1,000+ year old ancient Yew trees growing straight out of the rockface at the Eglwysegs
cliffs nr. Llangollen which we filmed in August 2009 with BBC Countryfile presenter James Wong.

An 11 metre girth! Oak in a field near the dyke at Welshpool discovered by a local ATH verifier.
Many other stupendous trees which can be seen on seacrh for 'thetreehunter' or follow...

As well as the ancient treesI have met some really ancient, ooops, sorry erm interesting folks on my walk so far...

Watch it on BBC Countryfile 7pm Sunday 29th May 2011

Sunday 28 February 2010

Tree hunting in France with EuCAN

EuCAN - European Conservation Network - This org. provides placements for EU residents to do conservation work throughout europe. It is free and provides transport, accomadation, meals etc. On the latest trip I was one of a team of 13 people who were out to try a new experience.
It was an amazing experience with 'team kiffe'. We did actually manage to find some decent veteran trees in France. Which as we know is quite diffilcult as there are not that many veteran or ancient trees throughout northern europe.
More to follow on the trip soon...