Continuous Professional Development and investing in training our people, sit at the very heart of Treework. Not only do training opportunities help our staff to further their knowledge and understanding of our area of work, but it also helps them do their job easier and better, whilst providing the best service that we can. This includes our office staff and support team!
Earlier this month, Office and Accounts Manager Rachael Fay attended a training session on trees and the planning process. We asked Rachael to spare a few minutes to tell us all about it.
What was the training about? What did it cover?
The training looked at how and why decisions in relation to trees are made and how this impacts the design and construction process.
The presentation focused on BS5837: Trees in Relation to Design and Construction, the various stages of the planning and construction process and how trees are considered in the plans and reports that we produce for our clients, whether that be Tree Constraints stage, Tree Protection measures or Arboricultural Impact Assessments.
I was happy to have been invited. The training was initially for our CAD/GIS technicians – to see how the plans they produce for our projects fit in to the planning and development processes. Something that I was aware of through the services we provide, but have no direct experience in.
We all grabbed a coffee and logged on to Microsoft Teams.
Who attended the training?
Me and our two Senior CAD/GIS Technicians, Natalie and Magda. Having a small group was perfect as we could get through the subject very effectively whilst still asking lots of questions!
Who delivered the presentation?
The presentation was provided by my manager, Luke, who is the Managing Director and a Senior Arboricultural Consultant in the business.
What were the top 3 things that you learnt?
I learned that the British Standard BS5837 was reissued in 2012 (the earlier version was 2005) and I was interested to learn that the newest version of the standard takes into consideration the benefits that trees provide such as amenity value, environmental benefits, visual benefits and microclimate effects contributing to climate change – a point of fascination and wonder to me. I find it incredible how trees can store so many pollutants that are in our atmosphere and continue to thrive. These are just a few of the considerations.
I learned about how we consider tree roots in the pre-construction and construction/site supervision stages of a project. Tree roots are calculated at 12 x the diameter of the tree, but we also have to remember that they are resourceful and opportunistic and will find the best path to follow to source water and nutrients that they need to thrive. So, the consultants will consider this when putting the root protection measures for the Root Protection Areas (RPA) into a Tree Constraints Plans (TCP). Some technical terms I learned in the presentation!
I also learned that when we are producing Tree Protection Plans (TPP), we will consider if it is necessary to provide an element of site supervision at the construction phase. We may also work with the client to determine if scaling back the design will help benefit the case presented in the planning application and whether this would have a negative impact on the project overall. Alternative solutions might be to consider pruning or removing trees and suggesting tree replacements through tree planting plans, in order to maintain the original client vision.
How does this help you in your role at Treework?
The training will help me in my role as the Office Manager. I understand more about the services that we offer to our clients and the processes that our consultants are supporting clients through, when working on BS5837 projects. I also learned a lot about the importance of the role that the CAD/GIS team play in producing the plans that accompany our reports.
Overall, it gave me a fantastic insight into what the company has to offer in terms of planning and development projects.