Tree health and citizen science

From humble beginnings, citizen science (CS) is making a significant impression on the nation’s ability to detect damaging tree pests and pathogens. The OPAL tree survey was one of the first in Britain to explore whether layfolk can play a useful role, and Andy Moffat was a founder member of the Working Group that launched this last year. The survey has now been widened to include all parts of Great Britain and remains a valuable opportunity for all to participate in tree health surveillance.

A workshop was held recently at the University of Reading (UoR) to investigate and debate how people’s enthusiasm could be further harnessed to support these aims. Organised by Dr Hilary Geoghegan (UoR) and Dr Gabriel Hemery of the Sylva Foundation, the meeting brought together over 25 CS specialists and was very successful in developing a common understanding of how CS might develop in the future. You can access Hilary’s blog on ‘The Culture of Enthusiasm’ HERE.