This study has been commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage in partnership with English Heritage and Natural England on behalf of the UK Wood Pasture and Parkland Habitat Action Plan Technical Advisory Group (WPPTAG) in response to concern that coring activity may give rise to damage to ancient and veteran trees (AVTs).
On the basis of this study, concerns that coring may cause some harm to living AVTs appear to be reasonably justified. The extent of harm is variable and generally not likely to be extensive in the short term. Concern is principally with regard to long term impacts to trees, particularly AVTs. Therefore, given the considerable value of the AVT resource and its potential vulnerability, a general precautionary approach to coring is a reasonable stance.
There is a need for conservation, arboriculture, climatology and dendrochronology interests to exchange knowledge and support one another, so that valuable knowledge gained from coring can be beneficially exploited without being at the expense of our oldest, most important AVTs.