Welcome to the LTOA website. The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) constitutes the professional & technical voice for London's trees & woodlands. Its aim is to enhance the management of the Capital's trees.
We hope that you find the LTOA website both interesting & informative. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
09:30am - Tea & coffee
10:00am - Introduction by LTOA Chair Richard Edwards
10.05am - Update on the work of the LTOA by Becky Porter, LTOA Executive Officer
10.15am - A word from our sponsors of the day Simon Jones of Simon Jones Associates Ltd
10.25am - Natural England’s advice for ancient woodland and veteran trees, Richard Barnes of the Woodland Trust
11.05am - Questions
11.15am - Short break
11.25am - Trees and underpinning a marriage made in heaven or hell, Rob Withers of ASUC Plus
11.55am - Questions
12.05am - The work of the LTOA planning working party on conditions and validations, Jon Ryan, Chair of the LTOA planning working party and Tree Preservation Officer at LB Islington
12.15pm - Questions
12.20pm - Launch of consultation of LTOA publication Surface Materials around trees in the hard landscape, John Parker, Chair of the LTOA surface materials around trees working party and TfL Tree Officer
12.40pm - Questions
12.45pm - LTOA PR and Communications group – what they do and a call for members to join
12.50pm - Lunch in local pub sponsored by Simon Jones Associates
Thank you to Dale Mortimer at LB Ealing for hosting the meeting and for providing tea, coffee and biscuits and to Simon Jones Associates for the lunch.
Professor Roland Ennos, describes how the focus of this gap-fill research work undertaken in association with the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) and supported by Fund4Trees identifies the current state of knowledge of three key physical areas which can be influenced by the presence of trees. The research also highlights areas where more research could be beneficial. The target audience for this research paper are those involved in policy, management/protection, design and delivery of urban trees.
“We have focused on three key areas:
The other major issue to consider is reduction of pollution but this would require specific expertise in this area to investigate. As far as noise reduction is concerned, this is not something trees are actually good at, and reduction in wind is far too difficult to quantify. We propose to approach Landscape and Urban Planning about publishing our reviews.”
Martin Kelly, TDAG Chair and Land Planning Director at Capita Property and Infrastructure, commented that “this is a very important step for urban trees. As practitioners it is vital that we work with evidence based research in order to make appropriate long-term decisions which are what is required if we are to have an effective well-distributed urban forest for the future benefit of our towns and cities. TDAG thanks both Fund4Trees for financial support and Professor Ennos and Dr Asrafur Rahman for their expertise in making this important piece of work possible."
Do you know what percentage of your borough is covered by trees and woodlands? Do you know if it has changed significantly over the time or how it varies within different parts of your borough? Without knowing your existing tree cover, how will you plan and manage future tree planting?
To answer these and other questions, the LTOA would like all London boroughs to complete and return a baseline canopy cover survey. In order to achieve this, the LTOA with the support of the Greater London Authority, have devised a straightforward means of estimating tree canopy cover. The tools we have created are called ‘OSCCA’ (Open Source Canopy Cover Audit), and are available for anyone to use. OSCCA allows you to generate random points on aerial images of your borough, which can then be classified according to land cover, (trees, roads, water, etc). This quickly lets you build up a reliable tree canopy cover estimate.
There are two sets of guidance for OSCCA to help you to undertake your canopy cover survey. Which guidance you follow depends on the mapping system in use in your borough, either ArcGIS or MapInfo. If you are unsure which system you use then please speak to a colleague in your mapping team.
It is important that you check the licence arrangements for your aerial images with your colleagues in the mapping team, as some licence restrictions may prevent data (such as canopy cover), being derived from aerial imagery and made public. If you are in any doubt about the licence arrangements for your aerial photographs you can contact the Greater London Authority, who are able to make aerial images available to London boroughs to use in this project without this licence restriction.
Once it is set up, the canopy cover survey is quick and easy to complete. And when you have completed the survey you can:
Members of the Canopy Cover Working Party are:
The programme for MapInfo was created by Jonathan Robinson (London Borough of Hackney).
The guidance for using ArcGIS was devised by Matt Thomas and Rebecca Page (Greater London Authority).
Sunday (21st Sept) was a quiet flat route from Gretna on the A75/6 to Dumfries and Kilmarnock. It was good to have a rest from the constant throng of HGVs: many passing very close to my right shoulder!
Pressing on with a 117 mile ride found me in Paisley. Near on rabid with hunger I stumbled into the local Ben & Jerrys (not much else around) but unfortunately with gas off in the kitchen all they could offer was a bowl of soup....... KFC happy meal then!
Next day the first bike-ride-fright was mistakenly taking the Clyde tunnel in Glasgow. The dimly lite descent into the tunnel's bowel was like entering Hedes. There was no space to make mistakes in this clostrophobic tunnel but just cycle like hell to get out alive at the other end. Blood pressure returned to normal passing Dumbarton on the A82 along the side of Loch Lochmon. Beautiful.
Had a result with Crianlarich overnight stay in the form of a free night at the Best Western as long as I had meal. Get in. At the next local school (Crianlarich Primary) tree planting a seven year old pupil even knew the 'P' word! Bless how informed these youngsters are. By now I was beginning to feel pumped with the finish line in my grasp. But the challenge of the Highlands awaited. A thigh pumping 2.5mile ride up on to the windswept Rannoch Moor took me in sight Glencoe. 'Twas a grey drizzly moody day and I felt like a mere spec in this isolated mountainous landscape. At Fort William alas Ben Nevis was heavily cloaked in low cloud. Cold and a little damp I arrived in Fort Augustus: at the southern tip of Loch Ness.
Next day the tree planting at Kilchuimen School went well with a great group foto under their tree thought poster. Another tailwind along the Loch sped me to Inverness where a copper beech was planted with the head (Convener) of the Highland Council: Cllr Jimmy Gray. Many thanks to Robert Patton and team at Inverness Council for organising this.
Just north of Inverness the A9 headed north into the Sutherlands another beautiful landscape with rolling heather covered hills on one side and the expansive North Sea (with numerous oil-rigs) on the other. Second bike-ride-fright was free-wheeling at 40mph down into the fishing village of Brora. If falling off the bike and skidding along the bridge hadn't killed me then the 50ft drop off the bridge would have! Next day (26th Sept) even though Keiss Primary School was closed, on an in-service day an impressive number of pupils, parents and teachers showed to see the English man and his tree-clad iron horse. With tree planted it was job done: all eleven school from Cornwall to Scotland visited. Just the last 17 miles remained to the tikka tape of John O'Groats. A vicious cross wind meant angled an cycle ride but steering north provided a tailwind that blew the iron horse clear into the Bike Britain finish line. Must confess felt a little emotional having foto taken at the famous post and touched that the couple who obliged with camera gave me a £6.00 donation.
Closing thoughts. What does it take to finish a solo unsupported 1,000 plus mile End2End cycle ride. Well, 300,000+ pedal strikes, dogged determination, a shed-load of grit and the desire to take on the chin every hill thrown at you ! The eleven schools were great & the approx switched-on 2,000 kids even better. Personally, after three months of planning, preparation and training I feel very relieved, emotionally tanked-up & just a tad proud !
Many thanks to those along the route who put me up, to Coles Nurseries for the trees and to Robert Pattton & team for organising the Inverness planting.
..... What's next ? Abseiling off the Europa hotel in Belfast.... watch this space :)