The Perth and Kinross Tree Warden Network is one of about 200 networks of volunteers across Britain, the whole idea having been started by The Tree Council in 1990 as a response to the huge loss of historic landscapes and trees following a series of severe gales.

Our local scheme started in 1993 and was run by the local authority for some 18 years. Since April 2011 the Network has been entirely run by volunteers within the national scheme. It is supported by Scottish Forestry and the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership, retaining links with the local authority.

Being a Tree Warden is all about making trees matter in our local area. Every member has a different reason for being involved, but all Tree Wardens can play an active role in conserving and enhancing the trees and woods around our local communities. No prior experience is needed – just a love of trees and a few hours to spare.

As Tree Wardens we are the local tree champions who plant, look after and stand up for the trees in our patch. We are the eyes, ears and voice for the trees along the street, the lone mature tree along a lane. We monitor the loss of trees and promote their replacement. We keep an eye on felling and report it to the local authority or Scottish Forestry for action. There are planning applications to check regarding trees - and government consultations to contribute to on issues affecting trees.

Tree Wardens actively take part in the Ancient Tree Hunt and we will be taking part in the Tree Council’s ‘Close the Gap’ hedgerow programme, surveying old hedges and encouraging the planting of new ones, including urban hedges. We are keen to lend a hand in local tree planting days and some Tree Wardens may be able to help with watering trees after planting. We are looking into seed collecting and starting up our own tree nursery.

Currently, we are also preparing a series of leaflets, the first of which is the Perth & Kinross Bluebell Trail. We have delayed the publication of this until 2022 but it will be a handy guide to not just our finest bluebell woods but will also show places you can drive or cycle past where the bluebell woods are not easily accessible to the public.

Tree wardens act as they do out of a sincere belief that trees are an essential part of our natural and cultural heritage: trees significantly reduce carbon emissions, and they provide an essential component in securing biodiversity upon which we all depend for our well-being.

If you would like to join us, 2021 is perfect timing – we will be rolling out a series of Tree Council training modules to get everyone up to speed on “everything to do with trees”. These will be for existing members and new members alike. Please join us now to be part of this exciting opportunity!

Watch the Tree Wardens’ 30th anniversary ‘thank you’ video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXKlogVXeb4