Tree Walks History
Tree Walks round Hebden began in 2010 from discussions about the trees in the Valley Road car park. In Spring their twigs take on a red glow and no one knew what trees they were.
In January 2011, I went on a walk with someone who had just arrived in the Valley and they admitted they didn't know what a Sycamore was. By the end of the walk they could distinguish, not only a Sycamore, but an Oak, a Beech, a Silver Birch and a Pussy Willow
By Spring 2011, we still didn't know what the red-twigged trees were in Valley Road car park, but people were commenting that I seemed to know a lot about trees.
Healthy Minds, Calderdale were setting up a Peer Support Group for people with Mental Health issues. They wanted accessible activities for people to do during the week. I was invited to offer a monthly Tree Walk through the Spring & Summer of 2011. We met in St George's Square in Hebden and went out from there looking at trees in different areas of the town.
In 2012, I decided to "Go Public" and advertised "Tree Walks Round Hebden" in the Hebden Diary and in the Hebden Times "What's On" pages. I offered 2 walks a month, one accessible for 1 hour and the other longer and more strenuous for 2 hours, both starting from St George's Square. I produced hand-drawn leaflets and charged for the walk.
In 2013, I was unable to offer any Tree Walks, but I was invited to give a talk on trees to the Halifax Scientific Society entitled "The Evolution of Trees & Autumn Colour". This occurred on 8th October 2013 and was very well attended. I was invited to give another talk in 2014 but had to decline for personal reasons.
What was really beneficial for me about researching the material for the Tree Talk, was that it helped me to pinpoint why I knew more than the average person, about trees and yet why my knowledge of conifers was so poor. I remembered a 15 month job I had in Enfield, Middlesex, where I had to map a woodland, thought to have been in existence since Tudor times. There was a wide variety of broad-leafed deciduous trees, but very few evergreen conifers!