Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

The AA Registered Consultant Scheme – Making Progress.

A View From The Treeehouse

The AA Registered Consultant Scheme – Making Progress.

The AARC scheme has existed for as long as I can remember.  It seemed to be a scheme for the elite, and whilst one could aspire to join the scheme, when I became a full-time freelance consultant, it seemed to be stuck in a cul-de-sac.  It was better regarded outside the industry than within.  I remember travelling up to Manchester when the Amenity Arboriculture conference was held there in 2010.  I had been invited to meet with interested parties and discuss ways that the Consulting Arborist Society could provide a career progression ladder for those wishing to become Registered Consultants.

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Planning: But that is the whole purpose!

Planning…’But that’s the whole point!’

I am a passionate supporter of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.  Here in Herefordshire, it was integral in saving the famous Queenswood woodland in the north of the county from development (back in the 1930s).  It continues to campaign for sustainable developments.

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The Tree Enthusiast

AVFTT

When the tree enthusiast knows best…

I am passionate about trees, especially the ones that are more special and valuable.  I am also a believer in being realistic about the trees being retained on development sites.  There are those who worry that someone who is passionate about trees will be reluctant to see any being felled on a development site.  I try to dispel this image.

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Trees and People: More than one interaction

There is considerable focus, within arboriculture and beyond, on the importance of trees within our urban settings, and trying to ensure that they have sufficient space within developments to be successfully retained.  Having been involved in the planning process for the past decade and a half, I have encountered my fair share of planning applications.  Those with more informed and enlightened professionals usually stand out as the needs of trees have been carefully considered.

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When the How Becomes Greater than the Why!

I was recently in a seminar by a business leader.  The theme was on how organisations function, and how to keep them focused.  There are four elements to how an organisation runs:

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Woodlands – Can’t see the wood for the trees?

Two headlines that I read this week stood out for me.  Apparently, woodland cover is at a record high (although I am not too sure how far back the record goes).  Surely something to celebrate?  Meanwhile, Butterfly Conservation reports that the population of species of butterflies, even the more common ones, is at the lowest level since records began.  Is there a connection, and should we be concerned?

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Trees and People: More than one interaction

There is considerable focus, within arboriculture and beyond, on the importance of trees within our urban settings, and trying to ensure that they have sufficient space within developments to be successfully retained.  Having been involved in the planning process for the past decade and a half, I have encountered my fair share of planning applications.  Those prepared by more informed and enlightened professionals usually stand out as the needs of trees have been carefully considered.

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Let’s keep to the facts!

Like many tree care professionals, I am passionate about the wider environment and ecology.  I appreciate the battles to be faced retaining the treasures that we have.  There are those who see trees as an obstacle to development and an undeveloped meadow as an unfulfilled opportunity.  I disagree.  I don’t agree that ‘progress’ is automatically a good thing, to be embraced.  Where we have treasures, their often irreplaceable qualities need to be emphasised.  If something is not a treasure, we should recognise this.

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Westonbirt Arboretum, A Pioneering centre

On Saturday, I enjoyed a great day out at Westonbirt. I don’t get to go very often due to the distance from CAS towers. The weather was great, with that rare sight this autumn of clear blue skies ands warming sun. We perhaps expect places such as this to be a template of best practice, with perfect trees and everything in order. Given how our appreciation of best practice has changed in recent times, and the challenges of limited resources, there are some trees which would benefit from more work. I saw several specimens with crowded crowns in need of some restoring pruning. I am sure that Professor Ed Gilman would be in his element exploring the collection.

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Tender documents: Why don’t the authors seek more guidance?

Although I am regularly invited to tender for work, I don’t normally respond to the larger contracts typically offered by local authorities and housing associations.  They are often for tree works contracts, or larger operations than suit me, and are not always easy to find.  I recently had to search through a national list of more than 100 to find the one relating to trees which I had been informed of!  However, it has struck me over the past few years how often information is requested, or data required to be collected, which does not relate to the project being considered.

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