The following information comes from OPAL – Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) is a nationwide partnership that inspires communities to discover, enjoy and protect their local environment. Organisations such as the Tree Council are part of the OPAL partnership, which aims to create a new generation of nature-lovers through local and national projects that are accessible, fun and relevant to anyone who wants to take part. www.opalexplorenature.org
Become an OPAL Tree Buddy
Trees are a vital and much-loved part of all our lives but, as we all know, they are increasingly under threat from pests and diseases. That’s why OPAL has teamed up with FERA and Forest Research to develop their seventh national survey on tree health.
From May, communities around the UK will be exploring their local area to find and survey local trees. As well as benefitting them, their data can help scientists to manage tree health more effectively. And they need YOU to help them inspire, engage and support these budding tree scientists by becoming an OPAL Tree Buddy.
What’s a Tree Buddy?
Tree Buddies are people like you with a professional interest in trees and forestry. Your expertise will help members of the public and schools carry out the survey to improve their learning experience and provide more accurate and reliable results. The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete and should be carried out between May and September each year.
This could include:
- going out with friends and family to carry out the OPAL Tree Health Survey;
- holding OPAL Tree Health Survey activities for the public;
- training or accompanying members of the public who wish to try the survey;
- hosting group consultation sessions;
- setting up a tree recording scheme in your local area.
What will OPAL do?
- provide you with free survey packs;
- help promote your organisation and events through our UK-wide network and on our website;
- provide you with additional training presentations, videos and resources;
- hold survey training events;
- offer advice on hosting public engagement events;
- collect survey results on our database.
How can my organisation get involved?
To become a Tree Buddy, please go to www.opalexplorenature.org/tree-buddy.
Please tell other people in your organisation about the OPAL Tree Health Survey and the Buddy Initiative by forwarding them this email and asking them to sign-up!
“Tree health is THE issue of the moment, affecting all tree and woodland organisations, whatever their particular interest. The OPAL Tree Health Survey and the Buddy initiative is an excellent way for us all to engage with the wider public so that they are more aware of trees and can help us by spotting problems early.
This is a great way for the public and professionals to work together and generate a whole new army of supporters to the cause of trees”.
Joan Webber, Principal Pathologist and Head of Tree Health Research Group, Forest Research