This is an important year in the world of arboriculture, with BS5837, a document which guides the management and retention of trees within development sites, being updated. In addition, the regulations regarding the administration of Tree Preservation Orders have been updated and amended in one of the most substantial overhauls since the legislation was first introduced in 1947.
Recognising these major changes, the Arboricultural Association have put together a series of seminars across England and Scotland, in which Richard Nicholson, Chairman of the BS5837 committee and Peter Annett, former Government advisor on trees and author of the TPO changes, were able to explain the changes and respond to queries and questions.
I was able to attend the seminar in Cirencester and appreciated the opportunity to hear from both. Richard is a most eloquent speaker, who brought humour and clarity to his presentation. It was evident that the role of chairing this committee was a rather thankless task requiring a very thick skin; I have heard some of the criticism. However, I trust that Richard is proud of what he has achieved, and I appreciated hearing his perspective and explanation for the changes.
Peter spoke in the afternoon, and included an insight in to the role of the civil servant involved in developing policy where years of work can be abandoned because a new government has different priorities. I was able to clarify some technical points relating to TPOs, including that giving Five Days Notice prior to undertaking work exempt from formal consent is advisory, not mandatory, especially for TPOs made after the 1999 changes.
The AA clearly recognised the importance of these seminars, and, at a time when budgets are under pressure, offered them at the very competitive price of £70 plus VAT, hopefully making them accessible to as many arborists as possible. I was so impressed with this approach that I promoted the remaining dates on the CAS magazine site. If you are involved in the arena of trees and planning, and haven’t attended one of these seminars yet, I encourage you to do so.
Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician?s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. As a professional arborist, Mark prepares tree reports for clients from is Herefordshire consultancy.