The Scottish Branch AGM was held online on 29 January with twenty-two delegates logging on to take part.
AA Chief Executive John Parker gave an insightful talk about the implementation of the Stonehouse Community Arboretum in Gloucestershire, which is aimed at creating a diverse collection of trees that are responsibly and sustainably planted and cared for. John talked about the importance of tree establishment rather than just planting as many trees as possible without thought for their aftercare. He also talked of the importance of creating stories around the trees as a way to engage people with them, which in turn leads on to the community caring for the trees. John finished off his talk with a summary of the AA Strategic Plan that came out in 2021. A key point to take away from it was that the Association needs to be public facing and connecting with people who may interact with trees but may not be part of the arboricultural profession itself. Guest speaker Max Hislop then gave a fascinating presentation on the Clyde Climate Forest project which has a target to plant 18 million trees in both urban and rural parts of the Glasgow City Region over the next decade. Max talked about how different types of data including digital photography have been used to identify areas where tree canopy cover is low and that are at risk from climate change. This information will be used to allocate resources to increase canopy cover and wildlife corridors where they are most needed.
The winners of the Ken Martin Award and Tom Hall Award for 2021 were announced (see below) before Scottish Branch Chair Chris Simpson went on to give the officers’ report for the year. Chris summarised the branch events that took place including a trip to RBGE Benmore and a twin-line compliance climbing workshop (see page 83). It is hoped that more events will be possible during the upcoming year as COVID restrictions ease. Branch secretary Struan Dalgleish reported that AA memberships in Scotland are up on last year and the branch is in good shape.
It was then on to appointing the Scottish committee members and officers for 2022. Chris Simpson stays on as Chair, Alan McDowell as Vice Chair and Struan Dalgleish as Secretary. Existing committee members Mark Foster, Simon Stuart, Matthew Cooper, Nick Porter and Andrew Whalley will all stay on. Three new Scottish committee members – Chris Knapman, Callum Braithwaite and Mike Charkow – were nominated to join the committee for 2022. After seven years of service Will Hinchcliffe retired from the committee, along with Nola O’Donnell. The branch thanks them for their hard work and valuable contributions during their time on the committee.
Keep an eye on e-Blast emails for upcoming Scottish Branch events.
Ken Martin Memorial Award
The Ken Martin award is presented to those that have made an outstanding contribution to the arboricultural industry in Scotland. After a lapsed year due to Covid, we at the Scottish Branch are delighted to announce Fiona Melville as the 2021 winner. Fiona has been a stalwart of the Scottish Branch for many years, either being an active committee member or supporting events. Fiona, with her approachable nature, drive and commitment, has been a great asset to the branch. Congratulations Fiona, a worthy winner indeed. She is pictured here receiving her award from Chris Simpson, Scottish Branch Chair.
Tom Hall Literary Award
The Tom Hall Literary Award was set up in memory of Dr Tom Hall and recognises writing that contributes to our understanding of arboriculture in Scotland. The Scottish Branch is pleased to announce that Ian Morrison’s article on Dutch elm disease management in Edinburgh (ARB Magazine 192) is the 2021 winner. The article provides detailed insight into the complexities and challenges faced by City of Edinburgh Council in managing the disease. It is reassuring to know we have people like Ian, who is the council’s Tree and Woodlands Officer, and his team doing what they can to preserve this incredible elm collection. Well done, Ian!
This article was taken from Issue 196 Spring 2022 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.