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Call for tree wardens to protect Leicestershire’s green spaces

The volunteers play a vital role in protecting trees

Volunteer tree warden Mike McIntyre
Volunteer tree warden Mike McIntyre

An appeal has gone out for more people to come forward and volunteer as tree wardens to help protect and maintain trees and wildlife.

Tree wardens are volunteers for the Tree Council and are appointed by their parish council or other organisation to be a contact and support for all things tree related in their local area. They help protect trees by reporting pests, disease and vandalism and help look out for opportunities to plant more trees in the local community,

They also campaign for grants to help fund more local tree planting and campaign to raise awareness about the key ecological role of trees and woodland.

Leicestershire currently has 93 tree wardens around the county, and the county council has now launched a drive to encourage more people to come forward and volunteer for the rewarding role.

Mike McIntyre is the tree warden for Lockington and Hemington – a role he took up earlier this year. He said: “I represent the parish council as a champion for trees, and from there, it’s just about doing whatever the parish council and the community want me to do, whether that be supporting trees, organising planting projects, publicity, future developments or getting involved with the neighbourhood plan.”

Earlier this year, Mike organised an ambitious project which saw five oak saplings planted in Hemington Park by children from the local primary school to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Mike was inspired by a planting which took place on the other side of the village in 1897, when five oaks were planted in Ladies Walk to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

The new jubilee trees have even been planted in the same formation as those which went into the ground 125 years ago.

Mike added: “We always need more tree wardens, and I would encourage anyone with the slightest interest in trees to give it a look. There is a lot of support available from Leicestershire County Council, as well as other organisations such as the Woodland Trust and the Tree Council.

“Being a tree warden can involve as much or little commitment as you want to put into it, and there are no qualifications needed, just an interest in trees.

“I’ve found it rewarding – I’m finding out more and more about trees, and people occasionally thank me for what I’m doing, so it’s very satisfying.”

A video of Mike talking about his role as a volunteer tree warden can be seen on our tree wardens web page, where there is also more information about tree wardens and how to volunteer.

Tree wardens are a vital part on our road to making the county greener and achieving our aim of becoming a net zero county by 2045.

They also allow for parish councils to have a greater say in where and how tree planting and ecological renewal is done in their parishes.

“’d encourage anyone who is interested in the environment to enquire, and help make your local parish a greener place to live.

Leicestershire County Council is aiming to plant 700,000 trees - one for every person in Leicestershire. So far, more than 100,000 have already been planted.

Anyone who would like to find out more about becoming a tree warden or to apply can also contact their local parish council or email treewardens@leics.gov.uk

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