Emma aged 10 on West Coast Trail rope bridge, Vancouver Island

I became a tree obsessive six years ago after realising that, in the face of ash dieback disease, I did not actually know what an ash tree looked like. Starting with the excellent Collins gem guide to trees and working my way up to the illustrated Collins British tree guide, I am now a passionate Tree Spotter looking to switch careers to work in the world of trees and tree conservation.

While I developed my obsession with trees a few years ago, I think it’s always been bubbling away, ever since I did the West Coast Trail on Canada’s Vancouver Island at the age of 10 and found out about the Carmanah art project and the destruction of the island’s rainforests.

I have spent the last two years in my academic posts or more thinking about the value of tangible and intangible things, in the most recent case the economic, social and cultural value of live music and live music venues. I believe that this research will be of great value in my move into conservation as my aim will be to instil not only a passion for trees in others but also an understanding of their value to humans and the wider ecology.