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Tree Health Citizen Science Network (THCSN)

Vision of the network

Our vision is that citizen science related to tree health in the UK is coordinated to foster collaboration, quality and best practice resulting in clarity and learning for volunteers and the most useful evidence and impact for end users.

Function of the network

  1. To bring together people and organisations with an interest in tree health citizen science (THCS) in UK and coordinate activity by:
    • Sharing information, data (where possible) and best practice on THCS, for the benefit of other project organisers, potential participants and stakeholders (including potential data users).
    • Seeking to coordinate and integrate THCS monitoring, research and outreach (engagement and learning) activities across projects.
  2. To act as champions and ambassadors for THCS nationally and internationally.
  3. Through the organisations and projects represented, to engage the public with the issue of tree health providing opportunities for learning and involvement with scientific research, monitoring and surveillance.
  4. To act as a trusted counsellor and single port of call on THCS to politicians, policy-makers and researchers (funders and practitioners) in Government and non-Government organisations.
  5. To provide a forum where consortia can be formed to pursue funding opportunities to continue tree health citizen science research and outreach (engagement and learning).

Audience of the Network

  1. Tree health citizen science practitioners.
  2. Policy-makers, politicians, funders.*
  3. Managers and owners of trees, woodland and forests.*
  4. Academia and researchers.
  5. The Public (through the organisations and projects represented).

*will include Government (national and local) and conservation non-government organisations.


  1. Members represent the interests listed above.
  2. Membership is on an individual rather than institutional basis.
  3. New members will be welcome, whether by invitation by an existing partner, or on request to join.
  4. Members will be self-funding with each member contributing their time freely (or at the cost of their organisation).

Modus operandi

  1. The management and governance of the network will be undertaken as a rotating coordinator role on a voluntary basis with consideration for the different capacities of individual members.
  2. Meetings of the network
    • The network will aim to meet at least twice per year.
    • Meeting arrangements will be flexible to meet members’ needs preferably in person with provision for remote access e.g. phone, Skype, Lync etc.
    • Venues will be rotated around organisations on a voluntary basis. The host organisation would normally fund venue hire costs and catering.
    • At each meeting, the venue and provisional content for the following two meetings will tentatively be agreed.
  3. Meetings for a wider audience
    • The network may occasionally hold larger meetings, workshops or other events for a wider audience on specific themes or topics. There may be a need for funding or to charge for these events.
  4. Communications
    • Internal communications will generally be by email, using an up-to-date email list.
    • The THCSN will aim to be open and inclusive publicising its work, activity and meetings through its website and on social media.
    • Website and social media
      1. The network will be supported by an independent section on the Forest Research website hosted by Forest Research.
      2. The website will provide a point of contact (as a part of the rotating coordinator role).
      3. A list of THCS projects and links will be maintained on the website. We will consider including projects within this remit even if the organisers are not part of the network. Presence on the website is not taken as an endorsement by an individual or organisation associated with the THCS network.
      4. The website could ultimately contain information on the following:
        • Research-driven citizen science
        • Research into citizen science
        • Monitoring and surveillance
        • Outreach (engagement, awareness raising and learning)
        • Funding
        • Data sharing
        • Sharing of best practice and ideas
        • Links to other relevant networks, projects and organisations
    • Members will be encouraged to publicise THCS activity using the common hashtag #treecitsci. We will consider the potential for other communication methods as the need and opportunity arises.
    • These “Terms of Reference” will be reviewed annually by the THCSN.

Responsibilities of members

  1. General responsibilities
    • ‘Attend’ meetings.
    • Foster collaboration and co-ordination across the network.
    • Commit to have an inclusive and respectful approach.
    • Regularly communicate relevant knowledge, data, developments and activities.
    • Provide representative and inclusive views from across host organisations, sectors and regions.
    • Provide broad, high-level and strategic advice across tree health citizen science.
  2. Specific responsibilities
    • Individual members will be responsible for ensuring that details held about their organisation or project on the website are kept up to date*
    • Responsibilities of the coordinator role will include:
      1. Maintain a list of members and their contact details.
      2. Respond to enquiries.
      3. Circulate details of forthcoming meetings to the membership.
      4. Update the website to coincide with meetings*.

*These updates will be managed by the Forest Research editor(s) of the THCSN webpages on the Forest Research website.

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