Jean Combes OBE
Her records have helped to highlight the impact of climate change on our trees and wildlife
Jean Combes, 84, has been recording the dates when the first leaves appear on oak, ash, horse chestnut and lime trees since 1947, an amazing 65 years.
Watch this clip of Jean and be inspired about the immense value of data that volunteers like you contribute!
Her seasonal sightings have proved an important measure showing how these trees are responding to climate change. They have been used by scientists, government departments and research organisations interested in the impact of a changing climate on trees and wildlife.
How did it start?
Jean first started recording aged 11, but destroyed these records as she thought they were childish. At the age of 20 Jean started her 65 year old collection not knowing how significant it would become.
New Year’s Honour
Her records are now incredibly valuable, both in the story they tell and in inspiring others to make a difference. For her commitment and dedication, Jean was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list in 2009 for her services to phenology, the science of nature’s calendar.
Inspired to be the next Jean Combes?
Join our Nature’s Calendar survey to record the signs of the changing seasons.