Valuing Green Infrastructure Through Tree Assessment TooLs (VITAL)

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Environment, Earth & Ecosystems

Abstract

In recent years environmental and social scientists working with economists have begun to understand the value that nature provides to society. These 'ecosystem services' (ES) include things like the provisioning of food and fuel, regulating water quality and quantity, reducing pollution, storing carbon and producing landscapes and features of cultural and aesthetic significance. Using a range of widely agreed methods it has been possible to put economic values on these services and the stock of ES is referred to as 'natural capital'. These ideas have allowed nature to be included in the way that organisations and societies plan and make decisions. Economic development, for example, that erodes natural capital might be considered undesirable, especially if the loss of natural capital outweighs the benefit of the development. Another term, 'green infrastructure' (GI) is used to describe the natural or semi-natural features such as hedgerows, parkland and street trees that make up part of human landscapes. GI can provide ecosystem services and therefore adds to natural capital. Urban trees, for example, regulate water flow, take in carbon dioxide, can reduce air pollution and have cultural significance.
Although these ideas are well developed in theory, applying them in practice has proved more challenging because the data required to calculate ES valuations are not widely available and the methods used are complex. This is a barrier to governments and businesses understanding and using these important ideas in their planning and decision making, and more so for individual citizens, small organisations or community groups who might be interested in the real value of their environment.
The VITAL project is made up of environmental scientists from the Open University with experience of running large citizen science projects, specialists in ES and trees from Forest Research, and Treeconomics a social enterprise which has been instrumental in engaging organisations in valuing their trees. We aim to develop a system that allows anyone from individual citizens to local authorities, businesses and large organisations to value the trees around them. We will significantly improve an existing OU citizen science tool: 'Treezilla' which allows users to map and gives ES valuations of trees, so that it links with the most widely used professional system for ES tree valuation: i-Tree Eco. These improvements will give all users access to powerful tools for valuing trees. We will engineer these systems such that data from one feeds into the other, and as more data are collected in Treezilla, it is used to refine the system further.
The value of our tools will be in their use by large numbers of people and organisations, so we have partnered with key organisations with interests in the value of trees in their environment to deliver the project. We will work closely with the Parks Trust Milton Keynes who are responsible for GI in one of Britain's most wooded cities, to understand how organisations can use Treezilla, using what we learn to improve training and promotion of Treezilla to other users. We will then work closely with a major governmental organisation: Natural Resources Wales to deliver specific projects demonstrating the use of Treezilla to that organisation and others like it. Through a third partnership, with The Tree Council, which has tens of members made up of local authorities, community groups and small and large charities, and supports a national network of 8000 volunteer Tree Wardens, we will communicate our tools and what we have learned to a very large number of potential users. These, and all users of Treezilla, will have free and open access to tools for valuing trees and the same access to a massive and growing dataset of trees and tree valuations from across the UK.

Planned Impact

The major outcomes of project VITAL will be:
1) Tools that meet the needs of organisations wishing to incorporate the value of trees into their decision making, and crucially, which can be used openly and interactively by those organisations' stakeholder communities.
2) A means for communicating the value of trees to stakeholders from business to governmental, third sector organisations, educational institutions and individuals.
3) Embedded knowledge of tools for tree valuation in key end user organisations.
Governmental, non-governmental and commercial organisations will benefit from the availability of easily accessible tools for ES valuation for their own internal planning and decision making as well as their communication with partners and stakeholders. Detailed knowledge of these tools and their use in our partner organisations will benefit them directly and provide models for other organisations to use these same tools.
The open nature of the Treezilla platform and its associated training and educational resources will give individuals and organisations in wider society access to a wealth of data on trees and their value as part of the environment and broaden the understanding of ES and their valuation as part of natural capital. This greater knowledge of these important concepts in society will facilitate the delivery of environmental policy and empower citizens to be more engaged in the way that decisions about the environment are made.
The project team, and stakeholders with an interest in the use of tree valuations will be able to chart the impact of project VITAL through the number of users (individual citizens and organisations) of the Treezilla platform, the number of individual tree entries and the outputs generated beyond the timeframe of this specific project.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have comprehensively updated and refined the website treezilla.org: a citizen science site which allows users to map and record trees and generate estimates of the value of ecosystem services they provide, with a focus on urban areas. Urban trees are poorly recorded and relatively little is known about them at a national scale, despite the fact that many local authorities hold databases of trees in their jurisdiction. We have therefore also developed a set of methods to take large volumes of data on trees which exist in mostly inaccessible local authority databases, remove inconsistencies and match them up to a definitive species list, allowing us to rapidly upload them to treezilla.org in bulk. As a result the Treezilla database has been expanded from around 50,000 records to over 830,000. The database now allows users to generate valuations of ecosystem services from large numbers of trees for several urban areas across the UK (Belfast, Birmingham, Greater London, High Peak, Portsmouth, Walsall). We have updated the basis of valuations in Treezilla to reflect the UK situation. This involved adapting the calculations of ecosystem services values to reflect UK treasury figures where possible, and where this was not possible, finding nearest relevant values to use. We have also developed a novel map of climate zones for the UK. This is used to adapt tree growth parameters to different climatic conditions prevalent in different UK regions and hence refine ecosystem services calculations. This map may have uses beyond the VITAL project. In addition we carried out some more basic research on the provision of ecosystem services by trees in a model urban area: Milton Keynes. By mapping and measuring a sample of roadside trees in Milton Keynes, adding them to Treezilla and extrapolating based on the extent of such trees across the city we were able to estimate the value of their pollution reduction services at around £2.5 million per annum. Through developing a series of resources linked to school curricula at primary and secondary level we have been able to take the message of the benefits of urban trees, methods of valuing them (in monetary terms) and the need to protect them, to a variety of school-age audiences. We have also carried out an extensive series of engagement events with practitioners, volunteers and members of the public to disseminate these same messages and promote the use of Treezilla as a citizen-focused tool for understanding ecosystem services provision by trees.
Exploitation Route Our findings and the tools we have developed are of relevance to those involved in urban planning and environmental management, particularly with reference to urban trees. Through our existing project partners at the Tree Council, Natural Resources Wales and The Parks Trust we have been able to disseminate knowledge and transfer practical skills to a large number of individuals involved in a professional or volunteer capacity in the management and care of urban trees. We have also raised awareness of Treezilla as a tool for individual/citizen-led tree valuation which can be used by any individual or organisation, and this has led (and we expect will lead in future) to use by individuals and organisations for their own tree valuation initiatives. Of particular relevance is the use by local authorities interested in ecosystem services valuation but unable to resource (financially or in logistical terms) a full-scale tree valuation effort. We expect the tools and processes we have developed in this project to be of particular interest to these organisations in future.
Sectors Education,Environment

 
Description The award allowed the improvement of an easily accessible tool for mapping and valuing of urban trees. During the course of the award the Treezilla tool was developed to become the UK's largest open tree map and the only readily accessible tool for urban tree ecosystem services valuation. During the course of the award and subsequently the tool has been used by thousands of individuals belonging to many different organisations. We have worked with local organisations such as the Parks Trust Milton Keynes and regional groups. Through a partnership, with The Tree Council, which has tens of members made up of local authorities, community groups and small and large charities, and supports a national network of 8000 volunteer Tree Wardens, we disseminated our resources which support the use of Treezilla to many more individuals and interest groups across the UK. More recently Treezilla has been adopted by the Institute for Research In Schools (IRIS) as one of its projects, which is now being used to support teaching environmental science and research skills in secondary schools. A major development following this award was the beginning of a process which has recently led to the publication of a new data standard for 'individual trees', i.e. those outside woodlands, such as many urban trees. This will realise future significant impact by underpinning the way that data are collected for urban arboriculture into the future.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Education,Environment
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Embedded treezilla in training resources for urban tree practitioners through The Tree Council.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Influenced local authority tree officers to contribute data to the open tree database in Treezilla
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Leading development of a new Individual Tree data standard
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Publication of final Individual Tree Data Standard
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to new or Improved professional practice
URL https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/documents/8206/Individual_Tree_Data_Standard_2021-11-09.pdf
 
Description Publication of new draft Individual Tree Data Standard
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/research/urban-trees-and-greenspace-in-a-changing-climate/quantifi...
 
Description Branching out new routes to valuing urban treescapes
Amount £485,917 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/V021141/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2021 
End 07/2024
 
Description COMMUNITREE: Connecting tree databases to the public, improving urban tree data for business, government and research
Amount £152,582 (GBP)
Funding ID 105324 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2020
 
Description HLF-Our Heritage
Amount £48,100 (GBP)
Funding ID OH-16-08371 
Organisation Heritage Lottery Fund 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 09/2019
 
Description Sackler Foundation
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 10/2016
 
Description Science Research and Enterprise Funding Support (Associate Dean Enterprise)
Amount £8,173 (GBP)
Organisation Open University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 10/2016
 
Title London tree database 
Description A database of tree locations and species from across London comprising over 700,000 trees which has been collated, cleaned and processed to import into Treezilla. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None as yet 
 
Title Treezilla bulk import validater 
Description A tool for validating data exported from tree management software for import into Treezilla/opentreemap 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None as yet 
 
Title Treezilla database 
Description The database in Treezilla is now (to our knowledge) the largest open database of urban trees anywhere in the world. It comprises over 800,000 spatially referenced records of urban trees, mostly with species ID. Many of the trees also include size data which allow an ecosystem service valuation to be calculated for individual trees, and for groups of trees (including those with no size data). This represents an increase of almost twenty-fold on the size of the database before the VITAL project began. Extensive local authority tree data from the following areas are now in the database: Belfast City Council; Birmingham City Council; Greater London Authority; High Peak Council; Portsmouth City Council; The Royal Parks; Test Valley Council. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Local authorities who hold large tree databases have begun to approach us as a way of disseminating their tree data to the public. Several have also requested bulk uploading their data to the site to allow them to carry out rapid ecosystem services valuations of their tree stocks. 
URL https://www.treezilla.org/treezilla/map/
 
Description A Natural Heritage Project To Preserve, Protect And Plant Urban Trees in Wales 
Organisation National Federation of Women's Institutes
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This is a project led by the National Federation of Women's Institute (NFWI) in Wales, in collaboration with partners including the OU, through Treezilla - the Monster Map of Trees (www.treezilla.org), and Natural Resources Wales. It seeks to contribute to reversing the decline of urban trees in Wales. Treezilla will be used by NFWI members in Wales to help them survey, observe, preserve, protect and engage communities in tree-planting and on-going monitoring and maintenance, as well as spreading the word about the value of trees to the wider public. The OU VITAL Project Team are delivering train the trainers activities with NFWI groups in Wales and also sit on the Advisory Committee contributing ideas shaping project delivery.
Collaborator Contribution With its large, locally connected membership, the NFWI aims to contribute to the assessment of the state of urban trees in Wales, by promoting active management, providing eyes and ears for public bodies and taking action to safeguard this incredibly valuable natural heritage. The NFWI are working closely with OU VITAL project partner Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and hope to provide some of the 'ground-truthing' required feeding useful information back to this and other public bodies i.e. Local Authority planning departments, informing policies and plans. NWA were instrumental to the development of this project and initiating a collaboration between the NFWI in Wales and the OU VITAL Project Team.
Impact Project delivery began in August 2017 was due to end July 2019, but was extended to March 2020. The OU is involved in Project Steering Group meetings, presentations on valuing trees using Treezilla at Train the trainer workshops which are being conducted with NFWI Member groups across Wales and the development of resource packs for dissemination. As the project continues The OU will engage with the population, interrogation and use of tree related data generated by the project on Treezilla contributing to evidence gathering which will be fed through to NRW, Local Authority planning departments and Local Biodiversity Record Centres to inform their plans, policies and tree strategies.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Branching Out consortium 
Organisation Loughborough University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contributed expertise to the consortium on citizen science, tree data, tree ecosystem services, mapping and participatory methods.
Collaborator Contribution Loughborough University and the University of York and SEI have contributed expertise on participatory methods and approaches to valuing social and cultural values of trees.
Impact The main outcome at this stage was the successful grant application for the Future of UK Treescapes programme.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Branching Out consortium 
Organisation Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Department Stockholm Environment Institute,York
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contributed expertise to the consortium on citizen science, tree data, tree ecosystem services, mapping and participatory methods.
Collaborator Contribution Loughborough University and the University of York and SEI have contributed expertise on participatory methods and approaches to valuing social and cultural values of trees.
Impact The main outcome at this stage was the successful grant application for the Future of UK Treescapes programme.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Branching Out consortium 
Organisation University of York
Department York Environmental Sustainability Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contributed expertise to the consortium on citizen science, tree data, tree ecosystem services, mapping and participatory methods.
Collaborator Contribution Loughborough University and the University of York and SEI have contributed expertise on participatory methods and approaches to valuing social and cultural values of trees.
Impact The main outcome at this stage was the successful grant application for the Future of UK Treescapes programme.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Co-designed citizen observatories for the EOS-Cloud (Cos4Cloud) 
Organisation Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Open University is one of the 15 partners in the €6 million European Horizon 2020 Project Cos4Cloud, which seeks to boost citizen science technologies and integrate citizen science within the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Cos4Cloud is developing eleven technological services to improve citizen science platforms i.e. citizen observatories (COs) by helping them to increase the quantity and the quality of observations. Janice Ansine is a Co-I, OU Project Manager and WP6 Lead (Networking, training, education and capacity building) The OU's iSpotnature.is one of the four biodiversity COs that are part of this initiative and contributes to development of the Cos4Cloud common architecture services (WP2), an AI reputation assessment service (WP3). The team are also facilitating participation in citizen science activities and research (WP5) and as lead on networking, training, education and capacity building activities and developing a Citizen Science toolbox with Evidence Hub (WP6); contribute to exploitation (WP7) and communication activities (WP8). The OU will expand on the ground-breaking technological enhancements from this project, i.e. integrated AI, quality assessing the reputation system. This will improve the iSpot experience into the future as well as benefit other platforms and engagement with Treezilla as a citizen observatory project of interest is underway. The OU will also use results to enhance and facilitate the applicability of citizen science through open science in OU teaching (i.e. informal, non-formal and formal learning) and insights gathered will be integrated into Treezilla extended development.
Collaborator Contribution Associated outputs delivered by project partners contributing to the development of Treezilla through VITAL and folllow-on COMMUNITREE project were part of the research conducted exploring relevant projects of interest. It is anticipated Treezilla will continue to feed into and benefit from OU contributions, led by Janice Ansine, to this initiative.
Impact Treezillla was one of the projects of interest included in the Cos4Cloud project deliverable D6.1 Identification of and engagement with projects of interest report and is included in the project internal database.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Collaboration with Natural Apptitude Ltd 
Organisation Natural Apptitude
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Contributed expertise on existing needs of citizen science tree surveyors, experience of running large citizen science project and a large tree database.
Collaborator Contribution Developed app and website for citizen science tree surveying project Treezilla: the Monster Map of Trees
Impact Grant awarded by InnovateUK for project COMMUNITREE
Start Year 2019
 
Description Collaboration with Natural Apptitude Ltd 
Organisation Natural Apptitude
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Contributed expertise on existing needs of citizen science tree surveyors, experience of running large citizen science project and a large tree database.
Collaborator Contribution Developed app and website for citizen science tree surveying project Treezilla: the Monster Map of Trees
Impact Grant awarded by InnovateUK for project COMMUNITREE
Start Year 2019
 
Description Collaboration with Treework environmental practice Ltd 
Organisation Treework Environmental Practice
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Brought expertise on citizen science perspectives on surveying trees.
Collaborator Contribution Brought expertise on tree database development and management and engagement with arboricultural sector.
Impact Development of draft 'Individual tree data standard' for urban tree surveys.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Collaboration with Treework environmental practice Ltd 
Organisation Treework Environmental Practice
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Brought expertise on citizen science perspectives on surveying trees.
Collaborator Contribution Brought expertise on tree database development and management and engagement with arboricultural sector.
Impact Development of draft 'Individual tree data standard' for urban tree surveys.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Forest Research - supporting the development and expansion of Treezilla as a successful tree valuation tool / COMMUNITREE Project 
Organisation Forest Research
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have been working closely with technical team at Forest Research redesigning the Treezilla platform, as well collating existing tree data to be added to Treezilla and using this to shape reference cities to redefine and update the ecosystem services valuation algorithms currently used on the site. In 2019 (in partnership with TreeWork Environmental Practice and Natural Apptitude Ltd) we successfully collaborated on a funding bit submitted to the Geospatial Commission. COMMUNITREE: Connecting tree databases to the public, improving urban tree data for business, government and research seeks to create a new universal standard for collecting tree data. This will allow easy sharing of data and recycling of data for many more uses. For instance, tree maintenance data collected by councils could be reused to calculate the benefits to society from trees, to inform research into tree growth, or to plan a more enjoyable commute (https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/research/urban-trees-and-greenspace-in-a-changing-climate/quantification-and-valuation-of-ecosystem-service-provision-of-urban-trees/treezilla/communitree-connecting-tree-databases-public-improving-urban-tree-data-business-government-and-research/) . We continue to collaborate with representatives from Forest Research on conference papers and presentations, cross promotions through social media, newsletters etc; as well as funding bids seeking additional resources.
Collaborator Contribution Forest Research have been a committed partner of Treezilla since the site was developed in 2013 and this has been extended as they contribute to the delivery of the VITAL project. The team involved have been instrumental and in addition to promoting the use of Treezilla, they are leading on the redevelopment of the website which is now underway. They are also using their expertise and work is progressing redefining the ecosystem services valuation algorithms and adapting these within the Treezilla platform making it consistent with other tree valuation tools, particularly i-Tree Eco.
Impact This work is contributing to: Delivering project objectives: (a) Collate existing data from UK urban trees (b) Establish a feedback system within Treezilla (c) Establish a 'reputational status' approach. Achieving project outputs: (1) Revised Treezilla platform based on a more sustainable model and with more relevant UK input data. (2) A 'live' and open data resource of the structure, composition and ES values of our trees across rural and urban parts of the UK. (6) Treezilla promotional events and representation as part of National Tree Week 2017 and at relevant fora.
Start Year 2016
 
Description OPENER: scoping out a national cOmmunity of Practice for public ENgagement with Environmental Research 2017-2018 / NERC Community for Engaging Environments (2019 - 2022) 
Organisation University of Reading
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution OPENER was a NERC Stage 1 one-year project, funded through NERC's Engaging Environments programme, aimed to develop a national community of practice for public engagement with environment research. It was focused on building capacity through training in citizen science and developing local communities of practice to prepare for a nationwide programme of public engagement with environmental sciences. For Stage 2 OPENER merged with another NERC Engaging Environments project ENCOMPASS and this new partnership was successfully awarded 1.3m for the NERC Community for Engaging Environments project (https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=NE%2FS017437%2F1). The aim is to make a national call to action, where people share their story of the environment - acknowledging and capturing people's diverse encounters with the places where they live, the species they care about and the landscapes that matter most to them; enabling people to contribute to the debate in meaningful ways. the project team will put into practice approaches and tools that enable researchers to share the environmental science agenda with the public and to respond together to environmental challenges. Co-developed actions, will be implemented capturing a range of levels of engagement from passive consumption to deeply involved DIY science. The project runs for three years, see project launch announcement here: https://nerc.ukri.org/press/releases/2019/14-engaging-environments/ The OU is one of over 30 project partners with responsibilities to establish a Community of Practice for Citizen Science. Janice Ansine, VITAL Project Manager and Senior Project Manager for Citizen Science, is assigned as a 'Critical Friend' and is providing expertise on citizen science and leading on the the development on a online -based Community of Practice (CoP) for citizen science supporting community-based approaches and interventions. In addition to this, as part of the extended project team Janice participates in regular project meetings and advises on delivery of project milestones, sharing OU best practice in public engagement and citizen science.
Collaborator Contribution No direct contribution, however, outputs delivered by project partners in the VITAL project and the overall use of Treezilla feed into OU contributions, led by Janice Ansine, to this initiative.
Impact Janice added her expertise in the implementation of Stage 1 of the project and contributed to the development into a Stage 2 proposal NERC Community for Engaging Environments (NC4EE). She supports and leads on integrating relevant activities extending impact though citizen science and public engagement. She also explores and develops opportunities to incorporate OU free learning (www.open.edu/openlearncreate/) and citizen science platforms (i.e. Treezilla - www.treezilla.org and iSpot - www.ispotnature.org ) as options for members of the public to become more involved with environmental research.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Partnership with Institute for Research in Schools 
Organisation The Institute For Research In Schools
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have developed Treezilla and its resources to include elements that support IRIS projects, and provided some support to them in their work with schools around Treezilla. We developed joint ideas for novel research proposals.
Collaborator Contribution IRIS have developed their project resources to align with the new Treezilla website and app and have promoted the project to the schools that they work with.
Impact IRIS research project guidance pamphlets. Research grant submission to UKRI.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Partnership with Milton Keynes Council 
Organisation Milton Keynes City Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have developed research ideas and proposals that would support the work of the council's Environment department in managing their trees.
Collaborator Contribution The council have provided input to the development of research ideas and letters of support for research proposals. The council have supplied tree data from their field surveys to populate the treezilla website.
Impact MK Council letters of support for recent grant applications.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Partnership with Natural Resources Wales 
Organisation Natural Resources Wales
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We provide ongoing support for the use of the Treezilla.org platform through in-person presentations, online communication and the dissemination of resources.
Collaborator Contribution Natural Resources Wales provide expertise on urban forestry stakeholders in Wales and play a strategic role in project VITAL by promoting Treezilla.org to their partners.
Impact Promotion of the Treezilla.org platform to forestry stakeholders and interested parties in Wales, namely the Welsh Government and the National Federation of Women's Institute Wales. This work is contributing to: - Delivering project objectives: (g) Deploy Treezilla with end-user partners; - Achieving project outputs: (5) Reports on Treezilla use in target projects with end-user partner NRW; - Contributing to project outcomes: (1) Tools that meet the needs of organisations wishing to incorporate the value of trees into their decision making; (2) A means for communicating the value of urban trees; (3) Embedded knowledge of tools for tree valuation in key end user organisations
Start Year 2016
 
Description Partnership with Salford University on HARNESSED project 
Organisation University of Salford
Department School of Environment and Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contributed to the development of a research proposal using citizen scientists to monitor tree disease.
Collaborator Contribution Led the bid for the HARNESSED project which aims to develop epidemiological models to support the early detection of plant diseases using data from citizen scientists.
Impact Submitted grant application to NERC standard round in July 2018.
Start Year 2018
 
Description The Parks Trust - Project VITAL partnership 
Organisation The Parks Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have introduced the education department at The Parks Trust to Treezilla as a tool for teaching students about trees and their value . We have designed some materials for them to use Treezilla with the young people they work with. We are mapping a list of '50 notable trees' which have been identified as being particularly significant in the Milton Keynes area for the MK 50 anniversary celebrations, and uploading them to Treezilla. We have planned an adult education workshop on valuing trees as part of The Parks Trust's annual education programme. We have continued to work with the Parks Trust on research on urban trees and citizen science.
Collaborator Contribution The Parks Trust have allowed us access to their education department to give us an opportunity to test educational resources for Treezilla. The education department has subsequently used Treezilla as a tool to introduce their junior rangers to the concepts of ecological surveying, mapping and ecosystem services valuation . The Parks Trust is promoting Treezilla to members of the public in Milton Keynes through its news and events web pages. The Parks Trust has supported our further work on urban trees and citizen science through logistical support for fieldwork.
Impact Outputs: Treezilla training resources for young people and adults (project objective e: Produce training resources for the use of Treezilla; output 3: Training materials on the use of Treezilla... ) Mapped '50 notable trees' to Treezilla so they are now more accessible to the public (objective h: Promote Treezilla through end user engagement activities; output 2: A live and open data resource...) Tree survey day for The Parks Trust Junior Rangers (objective h; output 6: Treezilla promotional events... ) Outcomes: Resources and tools for communicating value of urban trees to Parks Trust stakeholders (outcome 2: A means for communicating the value of urban trees). Greater awareness of green infrastructure, natural capital and ecosystem services among a variety of Parks Trust stakeholders (objective h; outcome 3: Embedded knowledge of tools for tree valuation...).
Start Year 2016
 
Description The Tree Council -Training, communicating and promoting the value of trees 
Organisation The Tree Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Through this collaboration our team is embedding the benefits of research and data collection around trees by working with the Tree Council to develop training resources around tree valuation and a user guide for Treezilla. We have facilitated preliminary discussions with the Tree Council about embeddimg these resources in existing training programmes they facilitate which will enhance the skills of over 8,000 volunteers from more than 150 local networks across the UK who participate in their Tree Warden Scheme. This successful scheme was set up to help people interested in conserving and enhancing local trees and woods and this partnership is developing as an ideal link for training / skills building in this area. The outputs under development by our team will be part of the Tree Council's Tree Warden package of support, materials, training and information.
Collaborator Contribution The Tree Council was founded over 40 years ago and is the UK's lead charity for trees with a vision to see more trees while engaging people to appreciate their value. Treezilla has already been included as a reference tool in their programmes, particularly the Tree Warden scheme and discussions are underway for more structured integration. The Tree Council reaches wide audiences through successful campaigns promoting the importance of trees including the annual National Tree Week and Walk in the Woods Month and so far have identified and implemented measures for cross promotion associated with activities such as communications with their networks and supporters via social media, newsletters etc. The Tree Council have further demonstrated a commitment to the partnership and Director-General Pauline Buchanan Black contributes her time by sitting on the project Steering Group.
Impact Cross promotions around key tree-related national days and activities using social media and newsletter articles targeting Tree Wardens. This work is contributing to: Delivering project objectives: (e) Produce training resources for the use of Treezilla and (h) Promote Treezilla through end user engagement activities. Achieving project outputs: (3) Training materials on the use of Treezilla that link formal curricula at school and HE level and that allow many other users to engage through informal learning and education routes. (6) Treezilla promotional events and representation as part of National Tree Week 2017 and at relevant fora.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Treeconomics - supporting the development and expansion of Treezilla as a successful tree valuation tool 
Organisation Treeconomics Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have been working closely with Treeconomics to update the ecosystem services valuation algorithms currently used on the site.
Collaborator Contribution Treeconomics have been a committed partner of Treezilla since the site was developed in 2013 and this has been extended as they contribute to the delivery of the VITAL project. Treeconomics Director Kenton Rogers is using his expertise contributing the parameters of the Treezila valuation model. He also promotes the use and value of Treezilla as a tool across the sector.
Impact This work is contributing to: Delivering project objectives: (a) Collate existing data from UK urban trees (d) Extend the basis for tree valuation in Treezilla Achieving project outputs: (1) Revised Treezilla platform based on a more sustainable model and with more relevant UK input data. (2) A 'live' and open data resource of the structure, composition and ES values of our trees across rural and urban parts of the UK.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK Tree Health Citizen Science Network (THCSN) - facilitating sharing of knowledge and best practice 
Organisation Forestry Commission
Department Observatree
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Janice Ansine is a founding member of the Tree Health Citizen Science Network and represent the project providing updates on progress and developments at meetings.
Collaborator Contribution The Network has a wide ranging membership of relevant organisations and initiatives which provide a number of possibilities for collaboration, sharing best practice etc. The network membership includes organisations and individuals with an interest in tree health and citizen science and provides a forum to share updates on work, experiences and best practice and identify opportunities for joint working. Already opportunities are developing for joint public engagement. So far discussions are underway with the Woodland Trust Observatree project to engage volunteer Tree Wardens with training resources incorporating Treezilla. In 2017 /2018 further work was underway to better formalise the structure and development of the group which we are contributing to. In 2018 / 2019 our collaboration with this group continued with representation at meetings etc.
Impact Regular updates presented at Tree Health Citizen Science Network Meetings and engagement with other organisations represented. This work is contributing to: Delivering project objectives: (h) Promote Treezilla through end user engagement activities. Achieving project outputs: (3) Training materials on the use of Treezilla that link formal curricula at school and HE level and that allow many other users to engage through informal learning and education routes. (6) Treezilla promotional events and representation as part of National Tree Week 2017 and at relevant fora.
Start Year 2016
 
Title Android app for the Treezilla platform 
Description The app is a versioning of the OpenTreeMap core Android app specifically for the needs of the Treezilla site at the core of the VITAL project. It has been developed to make it more relevant to Treezilla users and some general improvements in usability, following testing in the VITAL project have been made. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The app has just been released following an extensive period of user testing and development and has therefore not had wide uptake yet. However it features in the latest updates to The Tree Council Tree Warden handbook and will therefore reach their community of around 6000 volunteers across the UK. 
URL https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.azavea.otm2.treezilla
 
Title New Treezilla website and apps 
Description A website and android and iOS apps for data collection and display from the Treezilla project. These new resources have been developed subsequent to the VITAL project and with new funding, but based significantly on learning from the VITAL project. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The new app has over 1000 users and has been used to record almost 7000 trees. 
URL http://www.treezilla.org
 
Title Treezilla website 
Description The Treezilla website is a complete reversioning of the OpenTreeMap website to give it a UK focus. Specifically it uses UK-relevant ecosystem services costings, based on social damage costs, and employs re-worked, UK-specific climate zones for calculating ecosystem services provision. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2017 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The site now has over 1200 registered users. Around half of these pre-date the VITAL project, but the remaining half have joined in the time of the project and around 50 have registered since the updated site was released in October 2017. 
URL https://www.treezilla.org/treezilla/map/
 
Description "Discover: the value of trees" adult education session with the Parks Trust 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A member of the VITAL team conducted an adult education session in collaboration with the Parks Trust, Milton Keynes. There was a presentation, then the participants went out into Campbell Park to collect data. At least one of the participants went on to use Treezilla later on, adding more than 70 trees and promoting Treezilla in a local publication,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.theparkstrust.com/whats-on/event-details/1813
 
Description Arboricultural Association Registered Consultants day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk and demonstration of Treezilla site to a group of 30 professional arborists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Blog / Article: Why we're mapping a million trees and more! 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Article marking National Tree Week: Why we're mapping a million trees and more! https://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/creative-climate/why-were-mapping-million-trees-and-more . Dr Phil Wheeler, Dr Nadia Dewhurst-Richman and Janice Ansine look at the benefits of trees, plus discuss the work of Treezilla.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/creative-climate/why-were-mapping-million-trees-an...
 
Description British Council STEM Education Hub Event - Citizen science and basic education: how to develop a project with schools' engagement in scientific research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The British Council STEM Education Hub hosted an online seminar - Citizen science and basic education: how to develop a project with schools' engagement in scientific research? (https://www.stemeducationhub.co.uk/citizen-science-and-basic-education-how-to-develop-a-project-with-schools-engagement-in-scientific-research/) on August 11, 2021. The event had simultaneous interpretation available in both English and Portuguese.

The event focused on demonstrating practical approaches to develop schools' engagement in scientific research. Specialists from the UK and Brazil led roundtables to discuss and explore with participants the concept of citizen science and practical approaches to implement research/evidence-based pedagogies.
Ansine was invited to be a panellist and provided practice-based insights with examples of OU projects and platforms demonstrating UK collaboration between a university, schools and the public through citizen science. Presentation available here: https://www.stemeducationhub.co.uk/citizen-science-and-basic-education-how-to-develop-a-project-with-schools-engagement-in-scientific-research/. Citizen science project examples demonstrated included iSpot (www.iSpotnature.org), Treezilla (www.treezill.org) and X:Pollination (https://xpollination.org/).

Teachers attended showed interest in all examples asking questions with further folllowup queries after the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.stemeducationhub.co.uk/citizen-science-and-basic-education-how-to-develop-a-project-with...
 
Description COP26 Green Zone event: Ancient knowledge and Modern Thinking: Climate Perspectives in Folk Art 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The OU co-hosted a GreenZone event at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26),in Glasgow, Scotland on November 7, 2021 entitled Ancient Knowledge and Modern Thinking: Climate Perspectives in Folk Art (https://ukcop26.org/events/ancient-knowledge-and-modern-thinking-climate-perspectives-in-folk-art/ ). Janice Ansine was one of the speakers selected and explored connections between culture, citizens, and climate. This was a thought-provoking session that intersected the worlds of culture, science and technology.

Ansine highlighted a citizen science approach provides opportunities to explore, record, identify, collaborate, contribute, learn and personalise experiences noting examples of technological innovations that citizens can use to record and protect nature, such as Treezilla, and the Branching Out project. with Branching Out, citizen science is integrated in new ways of mapping, predicting, and communicating the social and cultural values of trees. This is combined with urban tree observatories, hyperspectral remote sensing and historic mapping to develop Europe's largest, most robust urban tree dataset, using Treezilla to map changes and inform evidence-based decisions around urban treescapes

iSpotnature.org and the DECIDE project, also featured and it was noted how iSpot experiences are being used to enhance biodiversity information enabling volunteers to record nature where it matters through the DECIDE project.

Over 100 attended in person and 1.6 thousand joined the event online, the recording is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76oloGAqtBc. These were also part of associated social media and other promotions: about the event i.e.: https://linktr.ee/iSpotnature_citizen.science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76oloGAqtBc
 
Description Devon Tree Warden Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the morning, Tree Wardens (environmental volunteers linked to our partner The Tree Council) listened to a presentation about Treezilla, most of which had not heard of it before. The presentation generated many questions, which could inform improvements to Treezilla.org. In the afternoon, the Tree Wardens experienced how to organise Treezilla fieldwork, which was a practical application of what was introduced earlier. The Tree Wardens showed interest in the idea of putting trees on the map.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ECSA Conference 2020:Encounters in Citizen Science. Presentation - Developing online citizen science learning communities: from dabblers to super users 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) Conference 2020 was an online conference for citizen and participatory science 2020 hosted from Trieste, Italy and focused on junctures in science: between scientists and citizens; between East and West; between North and South; and between the different fields of science. Janice Ansine was a Conference Workshop panelist and presenter: contributing to a 90 minute workshop under the conference Theme 7: Communities of practice for participants in citizen science
e.g. participant communities in citizen science: from dabblers to 'super-users "Working with both dabblers and super-users, engagement journeys and data quality"

Summary of talk / contribution
Janice Ansine, Senior Project Manager - Citizen Science at The Open University (OU) presented a snapshot of three successful OU-led citizen science initiatives which have facilitate and extend engagement about nature with an emphasis on learning using innovative technology:
o Evolution Megalab - was the first pan-European citizen science initiative focussed on recording species evolutionary trends;
o www.iSpotnature.org (iSpot) encourages the recording observations of wildlife while learning and building species identification skills; and
o www.Treezilla.org (Treezilla) is an ambitious effort to catalogue the UK's trees while building understanding of their ecosystem service value.
These initiatives have targeted and attracted a wide range of participants from the experience of the 'dabbler' to the regular returning 'super user' and varied experiences of the multiple range of users in between. Results from the range of user experiences, so far, will be summarised in terms of approaches used and the data generated. Impact is considered within the context of the aims of these initiatives, which support the engagement of participants as online communities, with an overarching focus on supporting participatory learning experiences around biodiversity and biological recording.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349191373_Developing_online_citizen_science_learning_commun...
 
Description East Anglian Tree Warden Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the morning, 78 Tree Wardens (environmental volunteers linked to our partner The Tree Council) listened to a presentation about Treezilla, most of which had not heard of it before. The presentation generated many questions, which could inform improvements to Treezilla.org (e.g. making resources available on the website, new ways of locating trees, possibility of highlighting "special" trees). In the afternoon, the Tree Wardens experienced how to organise Treezilla fieldwork, which was a practical application of what was introduced earlier. The Tree Wardens showed interest in the idea of putting trees on the map.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description East Midlands Tree Warden Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A presentation was given to Tree Wardens (environmental volunteers linked to our partner The Tree Council) about the principles of valuing nature and the use of Treezilla as part of a series of presentations on trees. This generated a number of questions and lively debate. Following this a practical demonstration allowed participants to practice data collection for Treezilla using tools and methods developed during the VITAL project. Participants were presented with information and datasheets to help them organise small groups of their own volunteers to survey and value trees with Treezilla.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.treecouncil.org.uk/Shop-Donate/Product-Details/catid/21/eid/181/east-midlands-tree-warde...
 
Description Enthusiasm for Citizen Science: Taking stock of motivations, costs and benefits workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Shared information about Treezilla and VITAL (poster and leaflets)
Networking with a range of relevant third sector organisations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Environmental fieldwork with A-Level students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Spoke to a group of 12 A-level students from Milton Keynes college about Green infrastructure, ecosystem services and Treezilla as part of a day of A-level fieldwork.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Green Man Festival 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Green Man Festival is a large music festival held annually at the Glan Usk estate in the Black Mountains of Wales. It has a dedicated Science fair zone 'Einstein's Garden'. Treezilla activities were there as part of the Open University STEM Faculty presence. Participants who engaged with the Treezilla stand showed enthusiasm for recording trees and learning about their ecosystem services. This included a number of practitioners working in the environment sector, specifically to do with trees. There were increased sign-ups to the site following the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Green infrastructure community event Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Networking with GI practicioners and policy makers at NERC-organised event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description IRIS Virtual Conference 2021 Student talk: Trees - planting a legacy for the future 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Young scientists from across the UK presented outcomes of their research at the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) Virtual Conference. This included a presentation from the Ladies College in Guernsey who spoke about their project which included using Treezilla website as part of a student-led research which also had goals to decrease the school's impact on the environment. In the presentation the students summarised their work which included using Treezilla and the impact identifying and measuring trees for the project had.
This included helping them identify how many trees they needed to plant to offset the school's carbon and determining which species would be best to plant to help offset the school's carbon footprint. See case study about the student's project here: https://researchinschools.org/case-studies/encouragement-in-science-leads-girls-to-become-changemakers-in-guernsey/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://youtu.be/jDlS5HFmbcA
 
Description Information about Treezilla in Treeconomics e-newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Short news articles relating to the VITAL project and Treezilla in the Treeconomics e-news with a reach of around 1000 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description MK Innovates 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact MK Innovates is an innovation fair held in the main shopping area in central Milton Keynes. It ran over 2 days and was attended by a large number of school children and members of the public. Participants who engaged with the Treezilla stand showed enthusiasm for recording trees and learning about their ecosystem services. There has been an increase in trees in Milton Keynes added to the Treezilla site following the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description MK Innovates 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact MK Innovates is an innovation fair held in the main shopping area in central Milton Keynes. It ran over 2 days and was attended by a large number of school children and members of the public. Participants who engaged with the Treezilla stand showed enthusiasm for recording trees and learning about their ecosystem services. Younger participants engaged in distinguishing between trees based on their leaves.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Milton Keynes Festival of Nature 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The VITAL project manned a stand at the Milton Keynes Nature Day, part of Milton Keynes festival of nature. A large number of members of the public attended a day focused around nature and the natural world. Over 100 people engaged with the VITAL project stand, talking about the project, valuing ecosystem services, using the Treezilla tool for estimating ecosystem services and taking away information on how to use Treezilla. In the month following the day (though we can not be sure the two were related), 25 new site users registered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.mkfestivalofnature.org/
 
Description Myerscough college 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A talk on tree valuation including a demonstration of Treezilla to arboriculture students. Students demonstrated interest in applying the tool for their own work. Several users from the college are now contributors to the database.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description National Federation of Women's Institutes - Wales Tree Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A workshop was carried out with representatives of all the Welsh Women's Institutes. A presentation was delivered on valuing nature and on using Treezilla to estimate ecosystem services value of trees. Following this a practical demonstration introduced participants to the principles of measuring and identifying trees and ways in which they might organise groups to carry out tree surveys with Treezilla.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description National Tree Officers Conference 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Networked with a range of practitioners and promoted project and the use of Treezilla amongs Tree Officers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Plymouth Tree Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk and demonstration of Treezilla site/app to around 50 members of the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Publication in Institute of Chartered Foresters members' magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An article titled: TREE DATA STANDARDISATION. Collect once, use many times: why we need a new data standard for individual tree surveys, was published in the institute of Chartered Foresters members' magazine. This covered the importance of efficiency and openness in tree data collection and described our efforts to standardise data collection through the Individual Tree Data Standard.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description SICSA Workshop on Gamification for Tree and Plant Health 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Approximately 30 representatives from England, Scotland and the Netherlands attended this workshop focused on the theme Gamification for Tree and Plant Health. The workshop was hosted by the University of Stirling, funded by the Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance (SICSA). Day one of the workshop saw presentations and demonstrations of example projects and initiatives in this area while Day 2 focused on ideas to engage and involve audiences. Janice Ansine from the VITAL project team gave a talk which included Treezilla about the use of citizen science and gamication approaches on creating online communities which support tree and plant health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.sicsa.ac.uk/events/research-challenge-workshop-on-gamification-for-tree-and-plant-health/
 
Description Science Showcase at Dynamic Earth - 2-day exhibition with Citizen Science exhibit featuring iSpotnature.org and Treezilla.org 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Science Showcase at Dynamic Earth, Scotland was an exhibition with interactive activities for all. Attendees were able to meet academic and student scientists from The Open University involved in BBC broadcasts, find out what they do and how they do it. They were also able to get involved in our virtual science experiments and a range of hands-on activities. This included discovering the space robots used to explore comets and the planets; trying being an ocean explorer or food scientist; and getting involved in citizen science with iSpot and Treezilla. And much more.discover how we "do Science" at a distance for students!
Exhibit description:
There is a fascinating world around us and the Open University (OU) provides tools to help us explore this; extending beyond the field, laboratory or lecture hall. iSpotnature.org is the OU's online citizen science platform for biodiversity and for over ten years has amassed a collection of over 43,000 species through our online database of over 1.5 million images from over 70,000 participants. Join us and expand your interest in wildlife, help others identify what they find or see how you can learn more, build your skills and become a citizen scientist. You can also find out about our ambitious effort to map trees across Britain with Treezilla.org: the monster map of Trees!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/scotland/events/science-showcase-dynamic-earth
 
Description Surrey Tree Warden Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the morning, Tree Wardens (environmental volunteers linked to our partner The Tree Council) listened to a presentation about Treezilla, most of which had not heard of it before. The presentation generated many questions, which could inform improvements to Treezilla.org. In the afternoon, the Tree Wardens experienced how to organise Treezilla fieldwork, which was a practical application of what was introduced earlier. The Tree Wardens showed interest in the idea of putting trees on the map.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk on valuing nature at Denbigh School Milton Keynes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A talk was given as part of an open lecture series to school students and members of the general public on valuing nature and use of the Treezilla app/website. There was a lively and engaged discussion following the talk on the principles of nature valuation. The economics teacher stated that he intends to use Treezilla as a case study/teaching tool for future classes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk on valuing nature at the Royal Latin School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk on valuing nature, including the work of the VITAL project was given to a public audience as part of an open lecture series at the Royal Latin School. The audience comprised local people, school teachers and some school children. Following the talk science staff at the school indicated that they would begin to use Treezilla in teaching activities. An increase in the number of Treezilla records added by individuals in the area local to the school was also observed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The theme of the 2019 National Biodiversity Network Conference was "Network, Knowledge and Narrative - sharing and using data across the NBN and beyond". It was held on November 13 -14 and over the course of the two days a range of presentations were heard from individuals and organisations from within the NBN and further afield, with a variety of speakers explaining how they are sharing and using data in their day to day work. As well as an afternoon of Knowledge Exchange sessions.

Treezilla was the focus of a presentation by Philip Wheeler on the afternoon of Thursday 14 November (https://nbn.org.uk/dr-philip-wheeler-nbn-conference-2019/ ):
"How to map a million trees" - With over a million records, Treezilla.org is the world's largest open tree map. The project aims to engage people in mapping, measuring and monitoring urban trees. Dr. Wheeler's presentation highlighted how these data was collected and plans for collecting tens of millions more records.

There was also an Open University citizen science and biological recording exhibition featuring iSpotnature.org and Treezilla.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://nbn.org.uk/news-events-publications/nbn-conference-2/nbn-conference-2019/nbn-conference-2019...
 
Description Three Counties Tree Warden Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the morning, 30 Tree Wardens (environmental volunteers linked to our partner The Tree Council) listened to a presentation about Treezilla, most of which had not heard of it before. The presentation generated many questions, which could inform improvements to Treezilla.org (e.g. making resources available on the website, new ways of locating trees, possibility of highlighting "special" trees). In the afternoon, the Tree Wardens took part in a hands-on activity about the value of trees, which illustrated the practical application of what was introduced earlier. The Tree Wardens showed interest in the idea of putting trees on the map.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Tree Warden event - Surrey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact At the Surrey Tree Wardens' AGM, a member of the VITAL team gave a presentation about Treezilla and its value to the Tree Council's Tree Wardens. In the afternoon, the participants learnt about how to collect data in the field for Treezilla.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.surreytreewardens.org.uk/Newsletter-May-17-2Final.pdf
 
Description Trees, People and the Built Environment conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A VITAL team member gave a plenary talk at the Trees, People and the Built Environment conference about Treezilla, titled "Using a Citizen Science Tool to Model the Health Benefits of Roadside Trees". This was followed by questions and requests to upload data to Treezilla.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.charteredforesters.org/event/icf-trees-people-built-environment-3/
 
Description Valuing Nature & Participatory Decision Making Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a poster on the research project
Discussed citizen science projects with a number of other participants
Identified potential future partners
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://valuing-nature.net/valpart
 
Description Valuing Nature Conference (poster) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was a 2-day conference, funded by the Valuing Nature Programme, brought together people from diverse research areas and from business, policy and practice to share latest research findings from the programme and beyond, and to improve the ways in which these findings can be incorporated into practice. There were a wide variety of oral and poster presentations and we presented a poster entitled: COMMUNITREE - Improving urban tree data for research, government and business. https://valuing-nature.net/sites/default/files/documents/AnnualConf/Dewhurst-Richman_COMMUNITREE.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://valuing-nature.net/valuing-nature-annual-conference-2019-posters
 
Description West Midlands Tree Warden Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the morning, Tree Wardens (environmental volunteers linked to our partner The Tree Council) listened to a presentation about Treezilla, most of which had not heard of it before. The presentation generated many questions, which could inform improvements to Treezilla.org. In the afternoon, the Tree Wardens experienced how to organise Treezilla fieldwork, which was a practical application of what was introduced earlier. The Tree Wardens showed interest in the idea of putting trees on the map.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description World Environment Day Webinar: Biodiversity and Citizen Science - Connecting Nature 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was an online webinar held on World Environment Day. Below is the summary of the event:

Biodiversity was the theme for World Environment Day (WED) in 2020 and the June 5 campaign "Time for Nature" is a call to action to help combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. The Covid-19 pandemic makes this even more relevant as we all see the connection between human health, our well-being and the environment.

As we appreciate and re-examine our relationships with the natural world can citizen science be a way for us as global citizens to take action and make "Time for Nature"? Biodiversity is indeed complex, and understanding and untangling its many inter-relationships is fascinating. At the same time, documenting global biodiversity is a major challenge - which is attracting volunteer involvement, i.e. citizen scientists.

Already doing your bit, interested in building your relationship with nature through citizen science or just curious? Do join us for what promises to be a stimulating discussion. This special WED webinar will be led by an Open University team experienced in citizen science, research and teaching in ecology and environmental science, from the Faculty of STEM:
• Janice Ansine - Senior Project Manager - Citizen Science
• Dr. David Robinson, Honorary Associate, School of Environment Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
• Dr. Yoseph Araya - Lecturer in Ecology & Environmental Science, School of Environment Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
• Dr. Mike Dodd, Curator - iSpot: Your place to share nature (www.iSpotnature.org )

Date & Time: June 5, 2020. 13:00 - 14:00 BST

Session outline:
• 8 - 10 minute presentation by each panellist followed by Q&A and discussion with the panellists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=6T3sd1F35n0
 
Description i-Tree Trail Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A member of the Treezilla team took part in the Torbay i-Tree Trails Workshop: helping - along with other "tree stakeholders" to flesh out the Torbay i-Tree Trails project. This also involved a demonstration of Treezilla.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/events/618856688299533/
 
Description i-tree Workshop in Dublin 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented and demonstrated Treezilla to a group as part of a workshop on the broader suite of i-tree tools for tree valuation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description i-tree Workshop in Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented and demonstrated Treezilla to a group as part of a workshop on the broader suite of i-tree tools for tree valuation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016