Healthy Trees for a Healthy Future

Trees in the United Kingdom are threatened by an unprecedented array of pests and pathogens - some already present in this country and causing great damage, while others have not yet arrived or fully established here. The government has identified a significant skills shortage in the field of tree health and it is clear that there is a lack of understanding of the issues surrounding biosecurity in general, which has contributed substantially to the current crisis.

Based on-site at the Yorkshire Arboretum, The Tree Health Centre is a pioneering initiative offering specialist training in tree health, pests and diseases. The centre will offer a wide range of courses to upskill professionals, amateurs and students, resulting in far-reaching economic, social and environmental benefits. Pilot courses held in 2018 were well received, with participants enjoying the mixture of classroom
and outdoor learning settings.

Funding for the project has come from the Peter Sowerby Foundation, the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund and the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) LEP.

We need to raise further funding to ensure the successful foundation and operation of the Tree Health Centre. Please let us know if you can help us in our quest for funding this important project – by giving a donation yourself, or through contacts with potential funders. Every contribution will make a difference and deliver our message of the need for healthy trees for a healthy future.

The Tree Health Centre will operate from a new 170m² building that offers space for learning and activity, demonstration and engagement, administration, store, catering and welfare. The facility will provide a unique indoor-outdoor, blended learning experience offering the arboretum’s varied collection of mature, maturing and young trees, including native and non-native broadleaf and coniferous trees.




The Tree Health Centre will have a purpose-built teaching facility, incorporating a classroom and laboratory, teaching space for up to 50 people, state-of-the-art IT and visualisation teaching equipment, and an array of laboratory testing and demonstration equipment.



We will offer a comprehensive range of courses; initially anticipated at 18 courses (some accredited) serving a breadth of beneficiaries including small businesses, the self-employed, general public, students and apprentices and school children.

The case for action

In England, the urban, suburban and rural landscape contains an abundance of trees, including hedgerow trees, infield trees, street trees, trees in parks and gardens, trees in orchards and woodlands, forest plantations, and ancient and other culturally important trees and woodlands. These form part of our national treescape.