The Association of Tree Officers (ATO) will promote, support and represent Tree Officers. Administrative control of ATO will be undertaken by the ATO Directors, supported by the National Co-ordinator, Becky Porter.
The Environment Act received Royal Assent in November 2021. While most of its provisions came into force on the 9th of January the duty on local authorities to consult on the felling of street trees will be implemented sometime in mid to late 2022. Prior to this Defra intends to hold a public consultation on guidance for the duty to consult provision sometime in Spring 2022. This guidance when published will assist local authorities in their preparations for being ready to implement the duty when a date is set. The guidance will provide timescales and advice on how to interpret the requirements of the duty imposed. This guidance will be in addition to the Forestry Commission’s Operations Note: Advice to local authorities on evidencing exemptions to the need for a felling licence. The England Tree Action Plan sets out further actions on making improvements to how trees and woodlands are better cared for as part of government policy.
It is estimated that 40 million trees in the UK have been surveyed and the data stored in local authority databases. Data for just 1.1 million of these trees are included in the UK's and world's largest open-access tree database, Treezilla.
Tree surveys are carried out for different purposes and often to different specifications. Many tree data collection protocols and methods overlap in their recommendations but differences between them make it difficult or impossible to compare, combine, or reuse data.
To address these problems in 2019 the COMMUNITREE project partners drafted a new data standard for surveys of individual trees. The steps taken to develop the data standard are described in detail in Developing the Individual Tree Data Standard.
Standardised tree data collection and recording will enable people to easily share their data so that a single dataset can be recycled for many purposes.
The Individual Tree Data Standard is a partnership between Forest Research, the Open University, and Treework Environmental Practice.
For more information https:https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/research/urban-tree-benefits/individual-tree-data-standard/