Notes of the Portsmouth and Southsea Tree Wardens meeting on 25 February 2010 at 7pm at
the Lighthouse Community Centre, 78 Albert Road, Southsea, PO5 2SN
Present: Pauline Powell (Chairman), Grace Barber, Jackie Baynes, Liz Button, Keith
Feltham, Richard Fuller, Les Hooper, Steve Jeal Archdruid Stormwatch, Margaret Judd,
Calum Kennedy, Cristine Kervin, Gill Norman, Gill Rees, Malcolm Reeves, June Rivett,
John Scott, Liz Slater, Phillip Smith, Cllr Irene Strange, Dominic Thompson, Heather Todd,
5 Ed White, Margaret Lipscombe (The Tree Council)
Apologies: Stuart Campbell Arboricultural Officer Portsmouth City Council, Lorraine
Carpenter, Ann Coats, John Holland, Val Pennycook, Cllr Caroline Scott, Angela Waldren
Pauline Powell welcomed everyone to the meeting, introduced Margaret Lipscombe of the
10 Tree Council and invited her to speak.
2. The Tree Warden Scheme – Margaret Lipscombe, Director of Urban Programmes The
Margaret said that the Tree Council is a charity based in London that works in partnership
with other organisations, for example, local authorities. Its staff are one in London and one in
National Tree Week was the government’s response to loss of trees from Dutch elm disease.
The Tree Council was set up to encourage people to plant trees in their communities.
How to engage with the local community:
Walks in woods
20 National Tree Week
Seed gathering in autumn
The Tree Council gives money to community groups. See web site, lots of information.
The Tree Warden Scheme has its 30th birthday this year. Tree wardens are organised in small
local networks throughout the country. About half the country is covered. The networks vary
25 from large, such as Surrey, to small, such as Barking and Dagenham which has four people.
The Tree Council provides help, information and support on how to do tree wardening. Local
groups meet local needs. The Tree Council does not tell the groups how to do that. A local
network is sometimes coordinated by a local authority tree officer, sometimes by a volunteer.
Sometimes a local authority commissions an organisation to run tree wardens, such as a
30 voluntary organisation.
The Tree Council provides:
any amount of leaflets
an electronic newsletter of information from the networks to which tree wardens can
sign up. The electronic format is to be evaluated following a trial period
35 annual forums. One per region in the autumn. To meet others, at the week end
Speakers, training, networking, walk
o How to grow trees from seeds and cuttings
40 o How to plant trees – different methods
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o How to look after trees. Where tree wardens plant survival rate is better
o Threats and challenges
o Law: tree preservation orders
o Organising tree events, doing projects, working with children
45 o Working with ancient trees, with the Woodland Trust
o Hedge trees
o What’s wrong with my tree? Diseases of trees etc
An A4 sheet emailed to the coordinator for completion and return
What do tree wardens do:
50 Want to improve their environment
Share information with others
Don’t get into disputes, for example, legal disputes
Only take on what you can handle.
Put a bucket of water on the tree outside your house
55 Report vandalism to the local authority.
Research about trees in the local area.
Publish about trees in the local area.
Plant trees with schools and the local council.
It’s what you want to do with it really.
The Tree Council does not provide funding to groups to run themselves.
Keith Feltham commented that the last scheme failed because the local authority withdrew
Pauline Powell reported an offer of a grant from Southsea Town Council of £250 and that the
65 Hilsea ward councillor has provided another £250. Ring fenced using the Portsmouth Society
as a sort of bank. Pauline commented that the group need to find £250 every year; that every
ward have the option of spending a certain sum as they like; and that Cllr Caroline Scott is
Margaret Lipscombe said a local network should plan what they want to achieve, say three
70 things in the first year.
Steve Jeal commented that he went to school with Jon Stokes of the Tree Council.
Margaret Lipscombe said Jon Stokes Director of Rural Programmes will do a training session
and suggested one in the spring, for example, a tree identification walk at no cost.
Getting tree officers on board is really important. Have them go through trees and law.
75 Set up a committee. Distribute emails that ML will send. Someone take minutes.
Pauline Powell asked when do we pay the £250?
Margaret Lipscombe said pay when you have decided you want to go ahead.
Books are free to tree wardens.
Tell the Tree Council what questions you have been asked that you have been unable to
80 answer. We will make it into a book.
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Margaret Lipscombe asked who has been a tree warden:
Keith Feltham said he had been involved in a tree planting scheme in Winchester. He
had been to a session at Farnham on care of trees and one at Swanwick on tree
recognition. Hampshire Wildlife Trust did the training mainly.
85 Cllr Irene Strange said they had had a scheme under the umbrella of the Wildlife
Trust; planted two oaks on Southsea Common; produced reports on Avenue de Caen;
reported elms on Ladies Mile and had them replaced; was a trustee of the Friends of
Highland Road Cemetery where a cedar of Lebanon near the entrance needs replacing
and she was considering asking for a small grant from the Tree Council to do so;
90 devised a Southsea Common tree trail about which she distributed a leaflet to the
meeting. It was suggested that the trail could be combined with Portsmouth City
Council’s healthy walks.
Margaret Lipscombe said it seems unless you work with the local council you are not going
to get very far.
95 Jackie Baynes spoke about empty tree pits. A contact of hers was keen to identify empty tree
pits, to locate the pits and encourage people to have trees outside their house.
3. What is going on in the area – communication from Stuart Campbell Portsmouth City
Council Arboricultural Officer email Stuart.Campbell@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
Pauline Powell reported correspondence from Stuart Campbell on tree planting schemes
100 throughout the city with which he is involved: “There are a number of trees being planted
over the next few weeks at the following sites:
King George V1 playing field - mixed native planting of 600 whips
Drayton Park - mixed native planting of 200 whips
Farlington Sports Field - mixed native planting of 550 whips
105 14no. Pinus pinea south side of Duisburg Way adjacent to the road and to match up
with the existing Pines planted on the north side of the road.
70no. Standard size trees planted various sites throughout city as replacements for
trees lost through vandalism,disease etc.”
On 26 Jan 2010 Stuart Campbell wrote: “I have put forward proposals for the planting of
110 40no.native semi-mature trees and 550no.whips at the eastern end of Bransbury park. This is
being financed by Southern Water as compensation for the reinstatement to the park and the
loss of some existing trees. I have put forward an a approx costs for the works and
discussions are still ongoing with Southern Water as to the extent of the planting works. We
are hoping this work will commence at the end of this year and the start of 2011.”
115 Answering a question, Margaret Lipscombe said that a whip is a tree with no branches.
Jackie Baynes said she was distraught about planters on the Hard. Shrubs have been very
neglected. She had written to Ashley Humphrey of Portsmouth City Council, and again a few
weeks ago when she had received no reply. The Council’s reply was that the planters are not
in good condition and they will do away with them. Jackie suggested plant trees. Cllr Irene
120 Strange commented that a public consultation is taking place on a plan for the Hard.
Dominic Thompson asked does the Tree Council provide legal support on replacing street
Margaret Lipscombe: No. The Tree Council does not have the expertise. The Woodland Trust
is beginning to give support on legal issues.
125 4. Colas Arboriculture Operational Plan – Gary Scammell Colas Arboricultural Officer,
John Scott 28 February 2010 3
Pauline Powell commented that Colas have a 25 year contract to maintain and replace street
Heather Todd commented that the contract requires Colas to leave the City with the same
130 number of street trees at the end of the contract as there were at the beginning.
Pauline Powell commented that Stuart Campbell, although he will not give money, will give
Margaret Lipscombe commented that the University of Manchester has done research on the
benefits of street trees, for example, in lowering temperature because of the water they
135 transpire, their effect on local climate.
Pauline Powell distributed an article “We need more trees” from The Garden, Journal of the
Royal Horticultural Society, December 2009, and a note of proposed year-long project by the
Construction Industry Research and Information Association looking at how to include large,
mature trees in early design processes and evaluating the cost benefits.
140 Jackie Baynes asked could tree wardens work like a neighbourhood watch scheme?
Margaret Lipscombe commented that in Manchester they only plant a tree outside a house
when people want them.
Pauline Powell suggested get in touch with Gary Scammell about any vandalised trees. She
had tried it and it works.
145 Cllr Irene Strange introduced Heather Todd who is running Greening Southsea. Heather
spoke about the scheme to be launched on 18 April 2010 from 2 to 3 on Castle Field. Heather
will give her email to Pauline who can circulate it to the group.
At 19:51 Cllr Irene Strange and Heather Todd left in order to attend another meeting.
Keith Feltham suggested to Jackie Baynes that the feathery trees used in Broad Street were
150 Sea Buckthorn and Jackie agreed.
Pauline Powell suggested that the group could get involved in planting trees in the Jewish
5. Next steps
Pauline Powell asked the meeting are we going ahead? Do we want to start a group? She
155 proposed to make an interim decision that we would like to be tree wardens and have another
meeting to decide.
A show of hands called for by Les Hooper indicated the meeting’s agreement to move
forward as a group and Margaret Lipscombe said she would send an invoice for £250 for the
group to become a member of the Tree Council as Portsmouth and Southsea Tree Wardens.
160 Steve Jeal volunteered to set up a web site with a page for each Colas area.
Pauline Powell volunteered to look at the Colas areas.
Margaret Lipscombe said the Tree Council will put up a web page with Pauline’s contact
Pauline Powell thanked everyone for coming.
165 The meeting closed at 8:03pm.
References: The Tree Council http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/ ; Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Wildlife Trust http://www.hwt.org.uk/ ; The Woodland Trust
John Scott 28 February 2010 4