Broadstairs & St. Peter's Tree Warden

The Tree Warden scheme is the national scheme, whereby Parish and Town Councils are able to appoint a volunteer or volunteers to undertake the following roles:

• be a contact and support for all things tree-related in their local area; including reporting on trees that are subject to a tree or planning application with the local authority

• protect trees by reporting on early signs of pests, disease and vandalism;

• gather information, survey and record information about trees important for wildlife or heritage in their area;

• help look out for opportunities to plant more trees in the local community

• help find the money to fund local tree planting projects, for example from the Tree Council or Forestry Commission.

• get involved in campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of trees.

Today there are many thousands of Tree Wardens in local networks throughout the UK, forming a volunteer force of immense value to the environment. Together, they devote nearly two million volunteer hours a year to trees - time worth about £13 million. 


The current Tree Warden appointed by Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Town Council is Karen McKenzie.

 

A message from the Tree Warden of Broadstairs & St. Peter’s:

“I've always been fascinated by trees. My mother was a great botanist and could name all the plants and trees when we went out walking in the local parks and countryside together and I picked up my love of trees from her. But it's only since I retired from my job at the BBC in April 2018 that I've had the time to devote to getting more skilled at all things arboricultural. I've always got upset when I've seen healthy trees felled locally, of which there seem to be many. And then this year, things came to a head when I read the excellent books The Hidden Life of Trees by Deter Wohlbeen and also Wilding by Isabella Tree. I contacted David Carey at Kent Tree and Pond group, who are a subsidiary group of the Tree Council. David told me that, coincidentally, Broadstairs and St Peter's Town Council were looking for a Tree Warden right now and that there was a training day, just the following day in Ramsgate, if I was interested. I jumped at the chance. I have also since attended a day's Tree Protection Law training.

Tree Wardens cannot advise about the health of trees or what work might be required, so I have reached out to local tree surgeons to be able to discuss issues as a second informal opinion. This helps me to reach a decision about whether TPO work that is requested through planning is acceptable or not or whether it should be challenged.”

If you wish to contact Karen, please email:

treewarden@broadstairs.gov.uk

Tree Projects in Broadstairs & St. Peter's

2019 Tree Planting

In October Karen arranged a small project to plant trees on Mockett Drive in St Peters. A Just Giving page raised £865 in just 4 weeks. BTC donated £230 toward the budget, a local Tree Surgery company donated another £346, the Broadstairs Society donated £20 and individual personal donations, including those from Councillors, brought the total to £1886. This was enough for a comprehensive planting scheme using innovative new anchoring system. Karen worked with TDC Open Spaces team and Trevor Sharp, a local landscape architect, to plan and deliver the scheme. Seven lime trees were planted on Mockett Drive, one in the Memorial Park and another next to Chestnut Drive.

2020 Storm Damage

Then in February and March 2020 the high winds struck and it was too much for some of the trees on Mockett Drive. Residual money in the budget was used to purchase stakes and the trees were re-anchored. We are happy to report that the trees have all leafed out and seem to be no worse for wear for their tough start this year.

Tree Champions

The trees we planted last year now all have a Tree Champion looking out for them. The tree champions work to a shared watering schedule and generally look out for their trees. We do need more tree champions to look out for street trees. If you are interested in adopting your local tree, Karen will be happy to help you get involved, no experience needed. Just get in touch with Karen on treewarden@broadstairs.gov.uk and she will get you set up.

Tree Canopy Project

Karen is involved with a citizen science project to map tree canopy coverage across Broadstairs as a percentage of land usage. The information collected will feed into Government policy. The stats for eachward are as follows and lower than the currently assessed national average of 15.8% across 233 towns. But the national average arrives from both highly forested and totally tree-less landscapes.So the National Average is not something to aspire to; Kenley in Croydon, for example, has a surprisingly high coverage of 39%.

Viking is 14.1%, Bradstoweis 15.1%, Kingsgate is 13.8%, Beacon Road is 16.8% and St Peters is 13.9%. Kingsgate and St Peters have the highest proportion of agricultural land. So overall, our stats are pretty poor, and we need to do much more to protect existing trees and plant more.

TreeZilla Mapping

Karen has started to photograph and map some of the significant trees on the TreeZillawebsite. This is another citizen science project. Anyone can get involved with TreeZilla and Karen would be delighted to get you on board mapping your local trees, the more the merrier. Do get in touch with Karen on treewarden@broadstairs.gov.uk if you would be interested in helping.

Resident Outreach

Karen works with Councillors to meet residents and assist with any tree related queries that come up. She can also come along to do talks on trees if you would like. Karen is also keen to work with local schools to promote an awareness of trees and has a current Enhanced DBS to allow for this.

Projects planned for 2020 (Covid19 permitting) include a Tree Champion meeting, more planting in local parks and St Peters churchyard and organised tree walks.

 

2020 Tree Planting

On Wednesday 22nd April Karen McKenzie and husband Terry Oki were joined at Holmes Park by Peter Hasted, from ITTWI, who brought the tree donation.

 The Isle of Thanet News - Planting the Norway Maple in Holmes Park

Tree Warden Gallery