OVER 130 attendees have already signed up for the National Tree Officers Conference (NTOC), the UK’s only dedicated tree officers’ conference, taking place at Reading Town Hall on 6 November. 

Delegates will have the opportunity to take part in discussions in each session and to network over the course of the event, organised by the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA), the Municipal Tree Officers Association (MTOA), and hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF).

Attendees will hear from central and local government organisations. Among them will be Hampshire Highways, Wycombe District Council, Bromley Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Wandsworth Council, Belfast City Council and Hackney Council, as well as Forestry Commission and Forest Research.

The conference will explore issues tree officers are currently facing and present solutions to overcoming obstacles, including the increasing pressure to meet targets with reduced resources. NTOC brings attendees into the discussion about how the public and private sectors can champion the vital role of trees in the built environment.

The one-day conference will examine topics including planning and management, legislation and collaboration, diversity and standards, and pests and diseases. The full programme can be found on the Institute of Chartered Foresters’ website. 

Louise Simpson, the ICF’s development director, said: “Climate change is high on the political, social and environmental agendas so maintaining tree professionals’ standards within the urban setting to improve green infrastructure in our towns and cities is crucial to securing a better world for us all. 

“Importantly, the National Tree Officers Conference platform allows tree officers to showcase their work and learn from each other, which ultimately improves the success of tree planting and maintenance across the UK, helping mitigate climate change and getting people connected to nature with all the associated health benefits it brings.”

NTOC’s international speaker, Gian Michele Circulli, urban tree manager from Green Public Service of Turin City Council, Italy, will outline the role of trees in battling climate change, giving an insight into current and future practices in Turin.

Jessica Stocks, arboricultural officer at Wandsworth Council, joins the day’s third session. Jessica will challenge the audience to think about the meaning of diversity in a broad sense, and to consider the benefits of diverse workforces. Belfast City Council’s senior woodland and recreation officer, Alan McHaffie, also joins this session. Alan will share some insights he has gained from planting street trees in areas of deprivation across Belfast over the past 10 years.

Booking and a full programme can be found here.