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Trees on Dartmoor Commons

What, trees on Dartmoor?  It’s pretty barren right?

Is pretty much what we thought when Our Upland Commons project asked for help understanding Dartmoor’s trees.  The challenge is to survey three areas of the Moor: Harford, Ugborough and Holne Moors and assess the health of the trees.  No one has really looked at widely dispersed open-grown trees on Dartmoor before, so we partnered with are friends at Corylus Ecology to draw up a methodology.

To make life more interesting, and always keen to find fresh insights to new problems, the project has provided an ideal opportunity to dip our toes into digital surveying and citizen science.  Kath has worked with GIS Cloud to develop a simple form that volunteers can use from their phones. The form geolocates and prompts the user to input data on tree species, height and health.  So far, half way through the surveying, we have clocked up an astonishing 2,830 trees (and groups of trees) across 80 days of volunteer time.

You can read more about the background and practicalities of the project here on The Foundation for Common Land’s website. The results will be out soon, watch this leafy space…


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