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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:


22 February 2024
Last Updated
22 April 2024