The ATF has pioneered the conservation of ancient trees for over 20 years, and is the only UK organisation focussing on all species of ancient trees. We believe there should be no further avoidable loss of these trees through development pressure, agricultural clearance, mismanagement or poor practice.
The ATF was founded in 1993 by a group of enthusiastic professionals who came together to discuss ancient trees and their management. The word ‘forum’ was chosen, as our organisation brings together people from different backgrounds and with different levels of expertise, all of whom have a shared love for ancient trees, their history and wildlife. The ATF registered as a charity in 1998. We have worked with many partners over the years, and some of our key achievements have included:
- Being a key partner in the Veteran Trees Initiative between 1996 and 2000, raising the profile of ancient trees and the need for their conservation.
- Producing or contributing to three books on ancient tree management: Veteran trees: A guide to good management (Helen Read, 2000), Veteran Trees: A guide to risk and responsibility (Neville Fay, Charles Mynors and Caroline Davis, 2000) and Ancient and other veteran trees: further guidance on management (Editor David Lonsdale, 2013).
- Being a key initiator in 2007 to the formation of the National Tree Safety Group, and a significant contributor to ‘Common sense risk management of trees’ and associated publications
- Being a key partner in VETree between 2012 and 2014 – a European-funded project which has resulted in the production of resources and training courses being cascaded across Europe as well as the UK.
- Delivering the Ancient Tree Hunt in partnership with the Woodland Trust, a project which has involved the public in identifying, mapping and recording ancient, veteran and notable trees across the UK, to create a nationally significant resource.
- Influencing legislation and policies from UK devolved governments and the European Union impacting on ancient trees, resulting in their better recognition and protection.
Our vision, mission and aims
Our vision is for ancient trees, their wildlife, and their heritage and cultural values to be safeguarded now and in the future.
Our mission is to champion ancient trees and thereby safeguard their biological, cultural and heritage value now and in the future for the whole of society.
The ATF is determined to see this priceless legacy conserved for the benefit of all society and revitalised for future generations through the creation of a succession of future ancient trees. In order to meet these needs we identified four main aims:
Our aims are to
- Champion ancient trees and their wildlife, heritage and cultural values and guarantee their future with a robust system of protection
- Secure and expand future generations of ancient trees
- Develop and share knowledge and experience of ancient trees and awaken people of all ages to their beauty and value
- Create a vibrant organisation able to support our activities