An important part of the task given to the Woodland Trustees is to inform and educate Tarvin people about nature and the living things that we share our village with. Some of this is done with the schoolchildren – for instance, we take them out into the woodland four times a year to look at the way that the changing seasons are altering things for the plants and animals for which our woodland is ‘home’, and the ways in which the living things then respond.
However, our brief is not limited to work with children – we find that there are quite a few adults who cannot recognise all of the trees that grow in the woodland, and very many who could not tell the difference between an ash tree and a mountain ash tree, a field maple and a Norway maple or an alder and a larch. Knowing which tree is which is something which can expose ‘feet of clay’ in many of us!
About 5 years ago, someone had the bright idea of putting “identifier posts” in front of good examples of each sort of tree, so that people would be able to name the tree and find out a little about what makes that tree special. The posts would simply be painted fence posts and the information could be printed, laminated and stapled to the post – simple, very cheap and we thought, easily renewable. We had not anticipated the ease with which water could soak into the signs (making the inkjet inks swirl into very pretty patterns which made the signs completely indecipherable) or the effect that ultra-violet light would have in turning every colour to white. The signs did last for a year or so – and we renewed them, although, the “tailoring” of each to its post did prove to become a pain.
The Autumn 2021 “Green Flag” report noted the poor quality of the identifier posts and this made us realise that our scheme as originally devised would not work. Time to call in the professionals! We have had signs made for us in the past by Cestrian Signs of Pool Bank Park. These have proved to be colour-fast and long-lived, so we decided to ask whether they could find a solution to this particular problem – They did – and for a fairly modest cost, they have been able to produce signs of the original dimensions from our initial artwork but printed on robust laminate sheeting using UV-stabilised inks. We think you will agree that the results are fabulous! Thank you, Cestrian Signs!
Now, when you take your walk through our woodland, watch out for the single posts placed in front of individual trees. Our hope is that, gradually, more and more people will be able to name some of our woodland trees – and, of course, the more people know about what it is they are looking at , the greater will be their appreciation and concern. As the title said, real improvements always seem to come bit by bit!