What's happening in 2017

Christine Tansey's picture

Now that the snows of Storm Doris have passed, and rumours of snowdrops have reached my ears, spring is clearly on its way. You will have noticed that it has taken a while to get the 2017 season rolling here at Track a Tree, and I wanted to write an update about what has been happening.

A lot of change has been going on behind the scenes, and unfortunately that has resulted in the recent neglect of Track a Tree. You may remember from my last post that my thesis writing came to an end last year, and I’m happy to say that at the end of November, I passed my viva. I’m gradually wrapping up the last few pieces of work from my PhD, including working on Track a Tree records, and recently my first paper was published in the journal Global Change Biology.

This paper was based on observations from our big sister scheme, Nature’s Calendar, and looked at whether the spring phenology of different plant species would be likely to keep up with warming springs. I recently wrote a short blog post for the Woodland Trust about it, please check it out to find out more! 

Another important change for me is that I have been working for the Woodland Trust, as the Research and Evidence Co-ordinator since last autumn. This means I am looking at the whole range of research that the Woodland Trust supports, and thinking about how we can help fill evidence gaps that will inform our conservation work for woods and trees in the UK. As well as meeting our research partners around the UK, I was lucky enough to visit a recently acquired site called Loch Arkaig in the Scottish Highlands in November. The site includes remnant Caledonian pine forest, and had a beautiful selection of birch trees as you can see below.


So what about recording birch (and all your other trees) for Track a Tree this year? We will be keeping the project going and really hope that those of you who have tracked a tree in the last few years will continue to do so. Behind the scenes we will also be developing a plan for the longer term future for Track a Tree. As I am no longer working full time on my PhD, there may continue to be less frequent updates on the blog, but I will keep posting on Facebook and Twitter when I can.

I’ll be heading out soon to check on my trees at Roslin Glen, and I hope you think about getting out and about to enjoy spring in the woods too!



Have read ( and hope to cite) your paper Christine, and well done for passing with flying colours.

Christine Tansey's picture

Thanks very much Sue, I hope you are enjoying reading around the area.