#ARBatwork #PledgeLessPlastic & 1987 storm 2018 3ATC 50th annual AA AA Awards accreditation advice AFL AGM Agrilus Biguttatus aid air quality Alert Alex Kirkley amenity Amenity Conference Ancient Tree Forum Annual Awards APPGHG apprentice apprenticeship Apprenticeships Approved Contractors ARB ARB Approved Contractor ARB Approved Contractors ARB at work ARB Magazine ARB Show Arboricultural Association Arboriculture arborists Arbsafe ash dieback Assessments atf Australia Autumn Review award Awards Barcham Trees Bartlett Tree Experts bats beetle beyond ism Bill Matthews biodiversity biosecurity Branches Brexit bs5837 business Call for papers Campout Canker stain of plane carbon CCS Cellular Confinement Systems CEnv Ceratocystis Ceratocystis platani chainsaw chalara Charles charter Charter for Trees chelsea Chelsea Flower Show Claus Mattheck climate climber climbing Colleges committees competiton conference Confor conifers conservation Consultant consultation Coroner Council Countryside Stewardship cross industry news Cryphonectria parasitica Cumbria DART Date for your diary deadwood death defra Design Devon disease document dothistroma EAC East Anglia ecology Economic Report economy Ecotricity education Electricity England EPF Europe European Arboricultural Council European Wood Pastures exeter Exhibitors Fatality Fera Fine flood flooding Forest Research forestry Forestry Commission forests FSC Fund4Trees funding fundraiser gardening GDPR Geocells government Green Brexit Green Infrastructure Green Infratructure guidance guides Health Helliwell Help Henry Kuppen Horse Chestnut horticulture HRH HRH Prince Charles HS2 HSE ICF Infographic InfraGreen International Urban Forestry Congress Investigating Tree Archaeology Conference Irma ISA iso i-Tree IUFC Job Karabiner Kew land-based Landscape Institute Landscape Show landscaping Lantra law Leaf Minor Lectures London LTOA Mayor of London Melbourne Member Benefit mentor Midlands moth' NASA National Geographic National Tree Week NATO News nominations Northern notification NTIS NTOA NTOC oak 'oak Oak Processionary Moth Oak-boring Beetle obituary Observatree opm Padua parks parliament Perennial Pests and Diseases petition Phytophthora planning Planning Law planting Plumpton College policy poll Power Prince Charles Prince of Wales processionary Protect and Survive protected tree protection Quotatis ramorum Registered Registered Consultant Registered Consultants Rememberance Day Report Rescue research Resilience response review RFS rhs rigging Rodney Helliwell rogue tree surgeons RSFS Safety Safety Bulletin Saftey Scotland Scottish Branch SDG Accord security seminars Share Sheffield Show Site Guidance skills SocEnv soils South East staff statement statutory STIHL strategy student Student Conference survey Sustainable Soils Alliance Sweet Chestnut sweet chestnut blight TDAG Technical Officers tender Thames & Chiltern The Arboricultural Association The Woodland Trust Thinking Arbs Day Timbersports Tools TPO Trading Standards trailblazer training transport Tree Tree Champion Tree Council Tree Health Tree Inspection tree loss tree management Tree of the year Tree Officer Tree officers tree species Tree Surgeons Tree Week tree-felling TreeRadar trees Trees, People and the Built Environment trust' trustee Trustees TrustMark UAG Uitlity UK favourite ukas UKWAS urban forest Urban Forestry Urban Tree Cover urban trees VETcert veteran trees video Videos volunteer VTA Wales webinars website Western Westonbirt Wharton women in arboriculture woodland woodland trust woods World Environment Day young arborists

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

Share this story

Finalising the VETcert standard

Last Updated:  22/06/2018

Having received over 350 responses to the public consultation on the Veteran Tree Management Standards, the Ancient Tree Forum was tasked with the job of collating and analysing them.

Finalising the VETcert standard

Overall the feedback was positive and constructive: a relief for all involved. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation; your comments were invaluable in helping us improve the standards.

Run in parallel with the public consultation, the standards were reviewed by our independent expert, Dr David Lonsdale. David, having gone through the standards with a finetooth comb, provided a number of useful comments to help guide the finalising process.

With these comments suitably digested, the partner team met during March in Brno, Czech Republic. Our hosts for the meeting were our Czech Partners, Safe Trees, who took the opportunity to show off their wonderful new offices as well as to introduce us to some Czech culture.

The meeting gave the partners the opportunity to discuss various project matters, including reporting, timesheets, and of course the Veteran Tree Management Standards. We worked through the comments received, with each partner representing the views from their home countries. The difficult task of deciding how to amend the standards then followed.

Partners ruminated on the comments and then put fingers to keyboard to resolve the points. The native English speakers perhaps got too hung up on choosing the exact use of particular words or phrases; there was much confusion from our European partners when we discussed, at length, the nuances between a ‘tree survey’ and a ‘tree inspection’. Evidently in most other European languages the two words mean exactly the same thing!

Despite making good headway, it was apparent that a two-day meeting was not long enough to consider and incorporate the necessary changes. As a result, following the meeting, there were a few late night Skype conversations held to resolve the comments.,/p>

The production of the standards has taken over a year, with input from hundreds of people, many of whom have given up a large amount of their time to help improve the standards.

The Ancient Tree Forum would like to thank all of those who have assisted with this process. It’s heartening to see so many people engage with the project and help us further the discipline of veteran tree management.

With the standards almost finalised the project can look to the next task. In January, the third work item commenced: the production of new training material. This element is being led by one of our Swedish partners, Pro Natura.

Finalising the VETcert standard

Two new education videos, similar to those produced as part of the VETree project, were filmed at Hatfield Forest. The topics for these videos are ‘pole thinning of lapsed pollards’ and ‘reduction via ring barking’. The films are currently in post-production and will be made available by the end of the project.

Not content with just one new work item to tackle, the Arboricultural Association provided an update on their work item: setting up of the accreditation scheme. The Association set out how they see the scheme working, ensuring it provides a high quality product for a fair price. Over the next six months they will work out the nuts and bolts that will form the accreditation scheme (see page 29 of Issue 181 of the ARB Magazine).

The VETcert is an Erasmus+ funded project which seeks to raise standards in veteran tree care across Europe. The project will conclude in August 2019, after which the accreditation scheme will be available for professionals to apply to. For more information contact Jim Mullholland:

Article taken from Issue 181 of the ARB Magazine.