Volunteers recognised at awards ceremony

Observatree volunteers recognised at awards ceremony

Observatree volunteers have been recognised in the Woodland Trusts Volunteer of The Year awards ceremony. 
The whole network of tree health surveyors and verifiers, were nominated for the Hawthorn Award which recognises a national network of volunteers that have made a significant contribution to the work of the Woodland Trust or its partners. Since the project began in 2014 volunteers have contributed nearly 15,977 hours and completed over 4,830 tree health reports. 

During this time volunteers have also identified 11 of the 13 priority pest and disease species confirmed as present in the UK. Due to their stellar reputation Observatree volunteers have been asked to help monitor tree disease on specific National Trust sites, with the trust citing their special knowledge and skill sets as reasoning.

That’s not all though; there was also an individual nomination for Liz Ramsey in the Oak Award category which rewards those volunteers which work within the office and home environments. Liz has made an outstanding contribution to the Observatree project as both a surveyor and a desktop verifier. Her computer work is what really sets her apart from other volunteers, verifying incomplete tree alert reports received by the Forest Research team. 

Since verifying her first report on the 28th September 2015 she has verified over 50% of all records that have ever been made available to volunteers for verification. So far in 2018 Liz has verified 100% of records that have been available. This doesn’t even include the almost 230 tree health surveys that she has completed during the same time period. A video was recorded for each of the individual award nominees highlighting their role and the contributions they have made.

Take a look at Liz in action here:

Observatree volunteers are well respected across tree health teams from various organisations; identifying the enthusiasm, passion, and in-depth knowledge that the network possesses. The volunteers have contributed to the creation an invaluable data set which feeds into management decisions, contributes to distribution maps, and research. The vital work of these volunteers is more important than ever with tree health issues becoming ever more prevalent in environmental policy and practice. The number of novel pests and diseases has risen exponentially in the last 30 years and continues to do so, meaning we need our front line early warning system now more than ever before.