The Tree Warden scheme is a national initiative of volunteers co-ordinated by the Tree Council and operating in local Tree Warden Networks.

To find out more about the Tree Council, please visit their website.

What is the Tree Warden Network?

In the South Hams we are very lucky to have a particularly strong and active Tree Warden network in place, co-ordinated by volunteers. The South Hams Tree Warden Network is currently Chaired by Cllr Mark Long (District Councillor and Tree Warden for Salcombe) and co-ordinated by Dr Thelma Rumsey, Secretary and Treasurer.  Tree Wardens are volunteers, providing their own time to share a passion for trees using their own knowledge and experience.

As a District Council we are hugely grateful for the important contributions our Tree Wardens make towards supporting the management of protected trees and ensuring that trees matter. They work hard to champion trees and woods, offer informal advice to residents, and highlight issues of national and local importance such as the current ash dieback threat.

Tree Wardens often work with the Council's tree officers, parish councils and voluntary organisations. At a Parish Council level, this might include providing specific comments on protected tree applications. They can also help by directing residents to useful information, professional bodies or the District Council's tree specialists on matters of tree protection.


What can a Tree Warden not help with?

Although the Tree Wardens have excellent levels of understanding, they are not a substitute for qualified arboriculturists. Tree Wardens are not covered by public idemnity insurance, which is important when discussing tree safety issues, or advising about trees which are suffering from diseases such as ash dieback. For that reason, we will always advise that residnets are directed to a suitably qualified tree surgeon or aboricultural consultant.

A Tree Warden is not the same as a Tree Officer - The Tree Officer is a position held by the Councils' employed Specialists.


How can I become a Tree Warden?

If you are interested in becoming a Tree Warden, please email us using trees@swdevon.gov.uk and we will pass your details to the South Hams Tree Warden Network.