Jill Butler

Jill Butler

Jill was introduced to the wonders of ancient trees through Ted Green in the early 1990s and together they have travelled the world to find remarkable trees - many that are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.

When she joined the Woodland Trust in 1995 and became their Ancient Treescape specialist, Jill was determined to understand trees and woods as ecosystems in their own right rather than as a bi-product of forestry and agriculture.

She followed in the footsteps of Frans Vera looking at sites he studied as a basis for his landmark book: Grazing ecology and Forest History. The adventure continues – every ancient tree has a story to reveal and so much still to teach us.

"The ancient, open-grown trees at Knepp are really special. They speak to us from landscapes in the past – in a language of deep history we are only just starting to decipher. It is wonderful, too, to see young, wild trees establishing themselves in the rewilding project – hopefully some will become the ancients for future generations to enjoy."