Forest Research and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) are partners in a Tree Health Survey organised by OPAL (Open Air Laboratories), launched in May 2013.
The Survey asks members of the public to examine the trees in their local area and to keep a special eye out for pests and diseases, particularly those affecting Oak, Ash and Horse Chestnut.
The activities include:
- Identifying trees;
- Measuring their girth and height;
- Examining the trunk, branches and leaves for signs of poor health and recording the presence of specific pests and diseases
The OPAL Tree Health Survey also includes a guide to six of the ‘Most Unwanted’ pests and diseases which could spell disaster for forests if they spread across the UK; for example, diseases such as Ash Dieback and pests like the Emerald Ash Borer.
Forest Research will include the results in its tree health database.
OPAL is led by Imperial College London and is a nationwide partnership initiative that inspires communities to discover, enjoy and protect their local environments. OPAL provides the skills and materials needed for national community-led studies of the world around us. OPAL is funded by a Big Lottery Fund - Changing Spaces grant.
More information on OPAL and the Tree Health Survey can be found on the OPAL website; survey packs are also available for download, which include a tree identification guide, field notebook and field guide and ‘Six Most Unwanted’ card.