I got involved with Observatree after hearing about the Chalara Ash Dieback breakout. I had already been a recorder for Nature’s Calendar and a research project called Track a Tree. I was particularly interested in what I could do to help and to learn how to monitor the health of trees – especially as Ash is so predominant in the Peak District.

By joining Observatree as a volunteer I’ve learnt so much more about tree health symptoms. The training I’ve been given on priority pests and diseases helps me feel confident in knowing what to look for. When I walk down local footpaths now, I stop if something catches my attention that doesn’t look right or fit in.

I chose to volunteer as a tree surveyor because I like walking around in the countryside and being outdoors in general. I’m very interested in trees and was a part of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Veteran Trees of Derbyshire project. Being semi-retired now means I can give something back to the community.

We need to get as many volunteers as we can to look at tree health across the country. Being a volunteer is very straight forward – anyone who likes being outdoors and has good observational skills can do it. We all need to do our bit to help our trees help themselves before it’s too late.