The group held an annual conference on Saturday 23rd June. The venue on this occasion was the village of Broadwell. Attendance was perhaps a little lower than in recent years, which was a shame, for the day proved very worthwhile.
We were fortunate to have an excellent base for the day at the village hall and were further pleased that the weather was in our favour.
Kindly giving their time for the day were our morning speakers, Guy Watson (Certhia Consulting) and Jon Stokes (The Tree Council). Guy is a true friend of the group and entertained AND informed us on the subject of Tree Surgery, Past Present & Future. Clearly the industry has changed since he joined it as a “callow youth”, not least Health & Safety requirements. Hearing from Guy about the challenges of professional tree care opened our eyes to the pitfalls which the unwary can encounter when seeking maintenance of trees. Extracts from his presentation are available in the Late Summer 2018 edition of Tree and Leaf elsewhere on this site.
Jon drove up from the south coast once again to be with us, proving that either he likes the Cotswolds, or us, or is keen to keep in touch with the state of our Ash and other species. Despite a significant acceleration of disease in this part of the country, Jon was intent on enthusing us about the future for our treescape. It seems however more certain that we, or our children, shall be looking at a landscape containing a different balance of species to what we are used to.
After a splendid buffet lunch, generously provided by Jean Nunn, we walked the short distance across the village green and up to the Broadwell Hill Estate of Sir Henry and Lady Emma Ashton. It was a pleasure to look at some of the mature trees near the house and see how maintaining its balance is being achieved as some of the older specimens are lost.
Returning to the hall for concluding refreshments, we were pleased to present our speakers and Jean Nunn with momentos in appreciation.