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East Anglia’s ancient trees and orchards will be discussed at conference

The Ancient Tree Forum and the Suffolk Traditional Orchards Group are hosting a national conference in East Anglia. Pictured: Aspal Close Nature Reserve, by Paul Reed.

The Ancient Tree Forum and the Suffolk Traditional Orchards Group are hosting a national conference in East Anglia. Pictured: Aspal Close Nature Reserve, by Paul Reed.

Paul Reed

The conservation and management of ancient trees will be discussed by experts and enthusiasts at a national conference in East Anglia next month

The two-day event on June 18 and 19, organised by the Ancient Tree Forum and the Suffolk Traditional Orchards Group, is open to anyone with an interest in ancient and veteran trees, the diverse habitats they provide, and the species of fungi, lichens and insects they support.

It will feature tours of ancient tree sites and orchards in Norfolk and Suffolk, with expert speakers including Prof Tom Williamson, a landscape historian from the University of East Anglia, and Prof Lynne Body, a fungal ecologist from the Cardiff School of Biosciences.

The venue for the first morning’s presentations is the Jubilee Centre in Mildenhall and, in the afternoon, there will be a guided tour of Aspal Close Nature Reserve at Beck Row.

This medieval wood pasture site is known for its 200 veteran oak trees, many of which are thought to be up to 1,000 years old. In the evening there will be an optional visit to a classic Breckland “pine line” over the county border in Norfolk.

The second day will be based at the Lynford Hall Hotel in Mundford, between Thetford and Downham Market, where speakers will focus on topics including traditional orchards, and the relationship between fungi with veteran trees.

The afternoon field trip will be to Rummer’s Lane orchard at Wisbech St Mary, where there will be a chance to see some veteran orchard tree restoration.

Brian Muelaner is chairman of the Ancient Tree Forum, which was founded in 1993. He said: “The idea of our summer forum is to bring people together who share a passion for protecting our ancient trees – whether they’re professional arboriculturalists, amateur conservationists or simply people who appreciate the beauty of our oldest trees.”

For more information or ticket bookings, contact eventsATF@aol.com or click here.


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