MYERSCOUGH College in Lancashire is hosting a special celebration of all things arb as part of the UK’s first ever Arbor Day on 6 February.

The event is being billed as a celebration of trees, those that work with trees, and recognition of the global arboriculture industry. Similar events exist elsewhere, notably the USA, Canada and New Zealand, and while the UK does have National Tree Week, which focuses specifically on planting initiatives, no official day celebrates arboriculture as a whole.

The event is supported by the Arbor Day Foundation (US) and the Mersey Forest. The day will be open to all, free to attend and will feature VIP guests and guest speakers.

There will be an official tree planting event at the centre of the College campus to mark the occasion, as well as a tree climbing demonstration for guests. In addition, work is already well underway on a new woodland area which is being created on campus to commemorate the first celebration of the day, called Arbor Day Wood.

There will also be trade stands for many employers, companies and advisory bodies, alongside a number of suppliers selling specialist arb kit.

Duncan Slater, senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College, commented: "Further to a student vote in support of this idea, we plan to celebrate everything 'arboriculture' on this day, and we encourage other institutions in the UK to get involved.

"The day is also designated as the College's Careers Day, so we have a packed programme of speakers, stands and other events planned, including, of course, tree planting. There will be lots of arboriculture companies representing the industry and giving talks to students and guests.

"We already have already received some generous donations of trees for this event from various sponsors, including the Woodland Trust, Mersey Forest, and Barcham Trees Plc, but we've room for more. We are also fundraising for our supporting two tree charities, and thanks must also go to generous donations so far and the support of our greenspace, floristry and horticulture teams who all want to help with making the world greener, both locally and internationally."

As part of wider tree planting projects, Myerscough has been involved in a number of initiatives, including planting trees at the local primary school, Garstang Primary, as part of outreach to the local community, as well as assisting the Mersey Forest with the clearing of new sites for tree planting schemes.

Duncan added: "Trees are very important for the well-being of people living in towns and cities, so we are supporting Mersey Forest this year for the work they do with local communities to achieve greener and healthier neighbourhoods."

The event kicks off at 9:30 am on Thursday 6 February at Myerscough College’s main Preston campus.

Guest speakers are set to include:

  • Paul Nolan OBE, The Mersey Forest
  • Suzanne Simmons, Trees for Cities
  • Sharon Durdant-Hollamby, Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Jon Hammerton, Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
  • Ann Selby, Wildlife Trust
  • Tiziano Nesi, Matteini Tranquillo Piante
  • Observatree
  • Luke Fay, Tree Environmental Practice
  • Duncan Smith, Middlemarch Environmental Ltd
  • John Parker, Arboricultural Association
  • Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants
  • Alan Thompson, Arbtech Consulting Ltd
  • Christopher Wright, Tim Moya Associates
  • Richard Trippett, Bartlett Tree Experts
  • Nick Bolton, Lockhart Garratt Ltd