Many of Bowland’s beautiful old trees are nearing the end of their lives and, in order to safeguard the unique character of the Bowland landscape, Champion Bowland and the Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership are acting now to ensure successor trees are ready.
These 'Landmark Trees' could be found in hedgerows, parkland, farmland or on a village green and may be native and non-native species. Wherever they are, they are important to people as well as to the landscape and provide a living link to the 'forest' of Bowland in the AONB's name.
Champion Bowland is looking for help from the public and corporate sponsors to identify suitable trees and plan for replacements to be established before their predecessors succumb to old age.
They are also asking local people to nominate prominent trees that are important to them and inviting local businesses to donate the funds to plant their successors. By supporting this scheme, sponsors are making an investment that will pay dividends for decades to come.
A Forest of Bowland AONB spokesperson explained the thinking behind the scheme: “Veteran trees are an essential element of the ancient Forest of Bowland. Often centuries old, these venerable old oaks, beeches, sycamores and ashes are as rooted in the landscape as the fells and the rivers that flow between them.
“But these local landmarks won’t last forever. We’ve already lost dozens of these distinctive trees to damaging storms and some of our native species are threatened by diseases such as ash dieback (chalara). The Landmark Trees scheme is our way of planning a woodland succession for the Forest of Bowland and ensuring the next generation of mature trees are already established before their forbears are lost through old age, disease or storm damage.”
The Seafood Pub Company was the first official sponsor of the Landmark Trees initiative when, working with Downham Estate and Ribble Valley Borough Council, the company contributed to the planting of a field maple in the centre of the village. The new tree replaced a wonderful old beech tree in the grounds of Downham Hall, which was lost in the ‘Beast from the East’ storm.
If you would like to nominate a prominent tree in your area for the Landmark Trees initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All suggestions will be judged against a set of criteria and, whilst nominated trees don't necessarily need to be centuries old, they do need to be visible from a publicly accessible vantage point.
Potential sponsors can also get in touch with Sandra for an informal chat about the scheme.
You can also nominate Landmark Trees via our social media feeds: simply post an image of the tree you’d like to nominate along with its location (ideally a Grid Reference or What3Words) with the hashtag #LandmarkTrees. Don’t forget to @tag us in your post!