Cushion Xanthoria

Tree survey buddy initiative

Become an OPAL Tree Buddy and help us protect the environment

Trees are a vital and much-loved part of all our lives but, as we all know, they are increasingly under threat from pests and diseases.

Studying treesThat’s why we’ve teamed up with FERA and Forest Research to develop our seventh national survey on tree health.

From May, communities around the UK will be exploring their local area to find and survey local trees. Their data can help Government scientists to manage tree health more effectively.

And we need YOU to help us inspire, engage and support these budding tree scientists by becoming an OPAL Tree Buddy.

What’s a Tree Buddy?

Tree Buddies are people like you with a professional interest in trees and forestry. Your expertise will help members of the public and schools carry out our survey to improve their learning experience and provide more accurate and reliable results.

This could include:

  • going out with friends and family to carry out a tree survey
  • holding OPAL Tree Health Survey events for the public;
  • training or accompanying members of the public that wish to try the survey;
  • hosting group consultation sessions;
  • setting up a recording scheme in your local area.

“Tree health is the issue of the moment, affecting all tree and woodland organisations, whatever their particular interest. The OPAL Tree Health Survey and the buddy initiative is an excellent way for us all to engage with the wider public so that they are more aware of trees and can help us by spotting problems early.

"This is a great way for the public and professionals to work together and generate a whole new army of supporters to the cause of trees.”

Joan Webber, Principal Pathologist and Head of Tree Health Research Group, Forest Research

The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete and should be carried out between May and September each year.

What will OPAL do?

We can:

  • provide you with free survey packs;
  • help promote your organisation and events through our UK-wide network and on our website;
  • provide you with additional training presentations, videos and resources;
  • offer advice on hosting public engagement events;
  • collect results on our database.

How can my organisation get involved?

To register your interest in becoming a Tree Buddy, please enter your details online.