FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Tree-riffic new survey launched

The latest survey from Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) has just been launched and will focus on the health of our tree population. Once again environmental education charity Field Studies Council (FSC) has worked with OPAL by producing survey packs through its Publications Unit.

The tree health survey will encourage people across the UK to learn more about their local trees as well as provide valuable data about them. Trees are an integral part of our landscape in both rural and urban spaces and anyone can take part and help by completing the survey in their local area.

Everything needed to take part in the survey is included within the FSC-produced pack and they are available free of charge from OPAL. Participants will be asked to look out for tree types, numbers and locations as well as for threats from diseases and pests, which have grown in number over recent years, including the much-publicised ash dieback.

The OPAL tree survey pack

Some of the possible pests and diseases you may see:
• Ash bud moth - black wilted leaf shoots with small holes at the base
• Oak mildew - a whitish powdery coating on leaves which was very widespread in the wet summer of 2012
• Horse chestnut leaf-miner – see-through brown blotches on the top of leaves made by a grub which first arrived in England in 2002

Head of FSC Publications Dr Rebecca Farley-Brown said: “FSC are delighted to have been a part of the OPAL project. Over half a million people have already been involved and hopefully this will grow even more as people sign up and complete the tree survey. Everyone who takes part, from individuals in their community to groups in school, enjoys and benefits from getting outdoors and discovering more about the natural world through the OPAL surveys.”

Anyone can take part in OPAL surveys as no specialist knowledge of the natural world is required.  Previous surveys have included climate and water surveys and a bug count as well as this latest tree health survey developed in association with Forest Research and FERA.

Find out more or sign up to take part in the tree survey through the OPAL website: www.opalexplorenature.org

Thursday, May 9, 2013