The Tree Officer Forum was launched following the successful National Tree Officers Conference (NTOC) in 2017, it was evident from the positive atmosphere in the conference hall that there was a need to have a platform to enable tree officers to communicate on a national basis.
To facilitate this the tree officer’s forum was started in February 2018 via the use of ‘skype’ technology. The first conference call brought together tree officers from the London Tree Officers Association, Wessex Tree Officers Group and tree officers from Kent.
As a result, a Forum Chair was elected, and a standing agenda established. The agenda is simple and covers up and coming events, biosecurity, best practice projects, and of course there is time to discuss issues of the day.
Since 2018 the size of the forum has grown, (see list below), with the Chair, Vice Chair or representative of each group joining the conference calls. It is their responsibility to disseminate the conference call minutes to their groups, which now number some 860 members. In Jersey, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man and Gothenburg, Sweden, where no tree officer groups exist, as their circumstances are unique individual tree officers can access the forum conference calls. On average we now have 15 to 20 tree officers on each conference call.
Guest speakers are also invited to present on the conference calls, subjects such as a legal expert discussing the Cavanagh v Whitley Parish Council case, (pre & post High Court appeal), and experts from the Observatree (www.observatree.org.uk) project, discussing biosecurity threats and issues.
The forum is an integral part of the NTOC, and the conference steering group extends to members of the forum to assist with conference speaker selection and supporting the conference in various ways.
We would encourage any local authority officers who have responsibilities relating to trees and are not in contact with their ‘regional’ tree officer group to do so. To take advantage of local group membership and the forum benefits outline above.
If no regional tree officer group exists in your area, why not establish a new group? This is probably best organised from a County Council level, involving one or more neighbouring County Councils, and engaging with the District Council tree officers within the area/s. Establishing a group by geographical area is also possible, such as Scotland and Wessex (see below), taking care not to encroach on already established regional tree officer group/s.
Association of Tree Officers
London Tree Officers Association
Municipal Tree Officer Association
Wessex Tree Officer Group
Devon & Cornwall Tree Officer Group
West Sussex Tree Officer Group
Kent Tree Officer Group
Norfolk Tree Officer & Landscape Group
Scottish Tree Officer Group
Essex Tree Officer Group
Oxfordshire Tree Officer Group
Thames Valley Tree Officer Forum
Hampshire Tree Officer Forum
Surrey Tree Officer Forum
Welsh Tree officers
North Wales Tree & Landscape Officer Group
Isle of Man
Belfast City Council
Office of Public Works (Southern Ireland)
States of Guernsey
States of Jersey
Isle of Wight