Posts By: Mark Chester

The value of the Tree Preservation Order

For me, my career in arboriculture really took off when I was appointed Tree Officer in Planning for Dudley Council.  I was responsible for the administration of the TPO service, among other things.  Whilst a decade has passed since I left Dudley, I look back fondly on those days.  Protection of trees using TPOs is a key tool for the arborist and urban forester.

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STOP PRESS: Young trees course receives Lantra endorsement.

Well, maybe a bit dramatic.  However, this course has been some time in the making. Keith Sacre first proposed it to me some 3 years ago, and the draft arrived earlier this year.  We ran the pilot course in July, and last week, Lantra let me know that it has received their ‘endorsement’ for quality.  The first course is being run at Barcham Trees on 8-10 December and bookings are coming in thick and fast.

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Tree Preservation Orders: Practical Application

I hosted the new Tree Preservation Orders: Practical Application course at Malvern Hills District Council yesterday.  It was quite an operation, and went very smoothly.  When Richard Nicholson agreed to run the day, I was keen to attract a good turn out, appropriate and in keeping with his credentials.  It would have felt rather extravagant to have him speak to half a dozen CAS members.  I am also aware of the need to share best practice, having encountered some notably poor decisions in recent years.

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An appreciated gesture

The Tree Council was founded in the mod 1970s to promote planting of the next generation of trees.  It remains active in promoting trees as a voice of the government, whoever is in office.  Two years ago, I was invited, as Chairman of the Consulting Arborist Society, to attend a reception at the House of Lords to celebrate the annual National Tree Planting event, which is held in early November.

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Westonbirt – a day off!

Life has been particularly hectic in recent weeks.  After the hectic season of trade shows and conferences, and completing the ‘Train the Trainer’ course, in September, October has given me the chance to catch up in the office.  And back to the typical timescale of clients.  There was the site where a tree report was needed, as someone has spotted that trees may be affected.  No rush, except the application has already been submitted, even if it hasn’t been registered by the planners yet!

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The need to get it right, first time

Regular readers of this column will be aware that Tree Preservation Orders, and dealing with trees affected by them, keep me busy.  Whether it it guiding clients through the process of obtaining permission to work on protected trees to helping in their response to new orders, I am on hand to help.  My own experience has included the administration of TPOs within a local authority, undertaking a review of orders for Walsall Council, and a successful prosecution whilst at Dudley Council.

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Russell Ball: A Trail Blazer

Russell Ball is someone one could call a human dynamo.  He operates with incredible energy and demonstrates deep generosity.  He works hard behind the scenes bring people together, recognising that together, we are stronger, and more can be achieved.  Russell is great is drawing the best out of others and persuading people to do what has previously not been considered.

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APF 2014; a full-on experience

I am back in the office having spent much of the past two weeks away on CAS business.  A full week of pretty demanding training leading to the award of the Train the Trainer qualification then taking my Emergency First Aid At Work course left me Tuesday in the office before heading off to Ragley Hall near Alcester in Warwickshire to set up the CAS stand for the biennual APF 2014 trade event.

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Tree Inspection

You would expect me to be a strong exponent of training and professional development for the professional arborist.  This is especially important for those involved in inspecting trees.  Back in 2010, I successfully completed the Lantra Professional Tree Inspector qualification.  In July, I also successfully completed the ISA’s TRAQ qualification.  Inspecting trees is not for the amateur.

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Going the Extra Mile

Many in the world of arboriculture are willing to go the extra mile.  However, some do something really exceptional.  When Russell Ball’s term as ISA Chapter President ended back in 2012, he threw himself in to a new project, of raising funds for research in to urban forestry and associated causes.  He has since organised a series of rides usually in conjunction with other events, such as annual conferences of the Arboricultural Association and the ICF.  These have typically covered 30 miles and involved visits to several schools.

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