Help us map those big, beautiful, ancient trees!

Project: Initiative to create an online map of old trees using inputs from citizens, residents and lovers of trees
Place: Tirunelveli
Dates for volunteering: 16 Feb, Saturday to 28 Feb, Friday
What you will need to volunteer: Time, enthusiasm, pen and paper and a measuring tape

If you have always admired those majestic old trees that are part of your everyday life in Tirunelveli, and if you are excited by the idea of doing something to ensure they remain standing, tall and proud, please join the ATREE Agasthyamalai Community-based Conservation Centre’s (ACCC) citizen science initiative on mapping old trees of the district.

We need your help!

The public Heritage Tree Mapping programme, in which we hope you, your friends and family participate, aims to develop an online map of Tirunelveli’s tree heritage. Old trees are especially vulnerable to development projects, but they are practically irreplaceable in the succor they provide to plant and animal communities. The aim of this project is to map the location of heritage trees all over the Tirunelveli district through community participation. We are depending upon public input to cover as large a part of the district as possible, in as much detail as we can. You will be important to the success of this exercise.

What you will need to do

  1. Locate potential heritage trees in your locality—near home, office, favourite hangout
  2. Note down the species name (see resource for identifying common trees), tree location (address with directions for our reviewers), age estimate (a rough estimate based on information from old residents should be good), tree height (estimate against a known height of person, structure etc), tree girth (use your measuring tape), active worship and land tenure detail (these last two details will help us estimate the value local communities might place in conserving the tree; alternatively, it will help us flag the tree as particularly vulnerable etc).
  3. Email the details to heriagetrees@atree.org or SMS/ call 9488063750 by Friday 28th February.

This map and tree register will then be shared with the community and local government for educational and conservation purposes.

Interested in helping out? Download volunteer instructions and record form.

Why this project is important

This project aims to map the location of hundreds of ancient, huge and sacred trees across the Tirunelveli district in one week’s with a little help from you. It is an opportunity for you to make a difference to local heritage conservation with just a few hours of your time.

The Tirunelveli district, which encompasses the Thamiraparani River, countless wetlands and runs right up to the Kalakad Mundathurai Tiger Reserve, is a place of great natural beauty. Adding to this beauty is the regal presence of the district’s heritage trees. Temples, roadsides, towns and villages, all boast ancient towering trees that represent our history and heritage as well as provide shade, food, medicine and homes for our wildlife. Many of the district’s heritage trees date back to the reign of Queen Mangammalin the early 1700’s and are hundreds of years old. The Banyan tree, Peepal, Vilaum tree and Arjun are just a few examples of commonly found heritage tree species, but any species can qualify. Heritage trees are trees of great age, size or historical and cultural importance. Many such trees are being lost as the district develops,often not to be replaced with the same species. This is why there is a need to document their presence, highlight their importance and help protect them.


This Heritage Tree Mapping project in the Tirunelveli district involves members of the public locating their area’s best heritage trees and sending details to the survey team which will then be recorded on a heritage tree register and mapped by the ATREE team.Who better to aid in mapping our heritage trees than the local residents who know where they are located and how important they are.Why not take a hand in protecting you own natural heritage and help us learn more about these irreplaceable features of our landscape.