AN INNOVATIVE new app, built in-house and believed to be the first of its kind, is being used by the team at Blenheim Estate for its annual survey of ancient trees, as well as mapping the ever-changing biodiversity across the 12,500 acres of parkland.

The app centrally records information on the hundreds of veteran oaks while simultaneously allowing users to photograph and log other elements of the environment including flora and fungi, information which was previously recorded on mobile phones or paper. 

The forestry team is also using AR (augmented reality) to measure each tree’s girth, and trialling new techniques to measure tree health, including the use of specialist microphones to ‘listen’ to the trees, which can make a distinctive ‘clicking’ sound when they need nutrients. 

Forestry Journal:

David Green, Blenheim’s head of innovation, said: “The app has been invaluable for the cataloguing of biodiversity within the parkland and the broader estate, as well as recording incidents of tree failure and work.

“What we’re doing is bringing together the information required to make better predictions of things like climate change on our trees. This is about protecting the legacy to ensure the long-term survival of our ancient trees and the surrounding environment.”