Learn to tell your birch from your beech on subsidised tree course

Residents from across Hull are invited to get to know their winter trees better, as part of a project to improve the green canopy of coastal towns and cities. 

Trees for Cities course participant Tess Agnew learns how to identify different tree species

The UK’s leading environmental education charity, the Field Studies Council, is offering tree identification training courses as part of the Forgotten Places: Greening Coastal Towns and Cities project. 

To date, the project, led by Trees for Cities, has been involved in planting thousands of trees in 83 different locations across seven coastal areas in England, including Hull. 

Part of the project also involves helping local people to engage with and cherish their trees while inspiring a new generation to plant, protect and promote urban trees. 

To help achieve this, the Field Studies Council has been running online and in-person tree training courses throughout the spring, summer and winter months to help broaden the public’s knowledge of trees. 

Additional funding means an extra course is now due to be held in the new year. 

Rebecca Jones, Biodiversity Learning Development Officer for the charity, said: “The project has proven a huge success and we have been delighted to deliver specialist tree identification training sessions to more than 500 people so far across the project areas. 

“Additional funding secured through the project means even more people in the Hull area will now have an opportunity to learn about trees at our next course early in the new year and we hope people will come and join us.” 

The one-day training course will take place on Saturday 21 January at the Animal Education Centre on Hawkesbury Street, from 10am to 4:30pm. 

No previous knowledge of trees is needed and by the end of the course people will be able to: 

• Identify a range of common broadleaf trees in winter  

• Become familiar with the more commonly found species in the local area  

• Use buds and twigs to make an accurate identification  

• Recognise, by key characteristics, some of the most common urban broadleaf trees in winter  

• Describe key features of trees in winter  

• Identify careers working with trees and how they can be accessed 

Rebecca added: “We hope that these tree identification courses will encourage people in the Hull community to connect with their urban trees more, and even maybe get involved with tree planting and conservation programmes in their community.  

“Feedback from our previous courses demonstrates that they have been instrumental in helping people to build on their knowledge of trees and we are looking forward to sharing our skills with more people in 2023.” 

Tess Agnew is looking to undertake Forest School teacher training next year, and found the Trees for Cities course to be the perfect introduction. 

She said: “I loved looking at and learning about all the features of a tree, such as buds and bark, and it was really interesting to learn about the biodiversity that trees support. This course was massively informative and provided a good base. The tutor was very knowledgeable, and you could tell how passionate she was!” 

The day course costs £25 and people can book online at www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/forgotten-places-identifying-broadleaf-trees-in-winter-hull-2023 

For those unable to attend, the charity will also be running a four-week online tree training course starting on 11 January. More details can be found here www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/forgotten-places-identifying-broadleaf-trees-in-winter-virtual-2023