The Tree Health Centre - Healthy Trees for a Healthy Future
We have raised funds to build the UK’s first purpose-built facility to expand public awareness about the threats to our trees posed by an increasing number of pests and diseases, and the need to keep our trees as healthy as possible. Funding for the project has come from the Peter Sowerby Foundation, the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund and £286,000 of the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) LEP. Construction is expected to begin in November this year.
The Tree Health Centre will offer training courses given by specialists and cater to all levels of expertise. The large and diverse collection of trees at the Yorkshire Arboretum, its location, reputation adn connections with plant health professionals, make it ideal for this purpose. Following successful pilot courses held in 2018, the centre will offer training on a commercial basis mixing classroom, lab and outdoor learning settings, as well as a public outreach programme.
With our trees threatened by an unprecedented array of pests and pathogens, protecting them has never been more important. Everyone is a stakeholder in tree health, from private householders with a back garden tree to the Highways Agency and councils. All need to know how to maintain healthy trees, or identify and manage those affected by pests and disease. The government has identified a significant skills shortage in the field, and this lack of understanding around biosecurity has contributed to the current crisis. The Tree Health Centre is of vital importance in the promotion of healthy trees for a healthy future.
Beverley-based SALT Architects have been commissioned to design the building: a single-storey structure adjacent to the arboretum’s existing visitor centre. It is a realisation of our core strategy and values. It is a chance for us to create strong links with tree health experts in a professional capacity, and raise awareness of the critical issues of tree health with our visitors and the wider public.
Sir William Worsley, Britain’s national Tree Champion, said “I regard tree health as a critical issue to be addressed, and believe that the Tree Health Centre at the Yorkshire Arboretum will be a major force in raising public awareness and knowledge of this vital subject.
Construction is expected to begin in the autumn of 2019 with estimated completion by the August of 2020.
For more information, visit the Tree Health Centre website: www.treehealthcentre.org