TWO intrepid Sparsholt College lecturers have found the UK's tallest tree.

Mark Tansley and Steve Woollard, who both teach arboriculture at the campus near Winchester, uncovered the 63.79 metre Stronardron Douglas Fir variety in Argyll, Scotland.

The duo scaled four 60 metre-plus varieties during their three-day trip north of the border, which was organised in conjunction with the Tree Register, who administer and keep records of the UK's tallest trees.

"I was hugely relieved to get the first tree climbed and measured," said Mr Tansley, 29. "Once we had one tree under our belts I knew that it was going to be a successful trip.

"We were met by interested and enthusiastic people wherever we went who did everything in their powers to make the trip a success.

"We definitely managed to raise the profile of tree climbing and arboriculture as a career with the people who saw us climbing live and the trip has generated a phenomenal amount of interest."

The duo, who teach on the college's forestry and arboriculture course, now plan to involve students in the project.

"The students are really interested in the project and can't wait to follow it up," said Mr Tansley. "We've got a few leads as to where some previously unmeasured tall trees may be growing and we've been invited to Somerset to measure the tallest tree in England. It should be a fantastic practical task for the students to climb and measure them."

Six of the UK's top ten tallest trees are located in Scotland due to a good growing environment, a mild and wet climate and sheltered valleys.