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Rachael Fay – A day in the Field

Rachael Fay A Day In The Field

Office manager, Rachael Fay recently spent a ‘day in the field’ with one of Treework’s Principal Arboricultural Consultants, Claire Harbinson.  We spoke to Rachael to find out what the day entailed.

What was the purpose of spending a day in the field?  

As I am based in the office 100% of the time, I do not get the opportunity to go on site or see the full process of the surveys that Treework offer, so when the opportunity came up to spend a day with one of our Consultants, Claire Harbinson, I was really looking forward to it.  I take a lot of calls in my role, talking to clients about BS5837 and development projects on a daily basis, so it was an opportunity to broaden my knowledge of this service we provide on a day-to-day basis and also relate to the activities our consultants carry out, for which I provide a clerical and logistics support for.


What did the day entail?

I met with Claire in Bristol and joined her on a BS5837 survey. Claire was fantastic (and very patient) at showing me the steps and processes involved in carrying out Planning and development surveys. We began by identifying the trees that were within the site boundary and plotting these on the topographical survey within our tree database MyTrees. Once I had observed Claire on 2-3 trees using the system, I then had a go at measuring the trees and plotting them onto the Topographical survey. I then recorded some specific tree data such as the category, species, and age class of the tree. I also learned how to take the measurements such as how to use a calliper to take the DBH (diameter to breast height) and how to measure the heigh of a tree using an outdoor laser which was very interesting.

I found it extremely valuable to be able to put my existing knowledge into practice and get some real on-the-job experience. I really enjoyed learning about tree species, and what processes needed to be followed when dealing with a tree that has a TPO (Tree Protection Order).

Rachael Fay A Day In The Field Rf

How did you find the experience overall?

My day in the field was an extremely positive experience. It is very important to be able to relate what our consultants do on site so that I can apply this when liaising with them and our clients, ultimately ensuring I can provide them with best logistical support. It has helped me to broaden my knowledge, reconnect with a colleague that I hadn’t seen for a very long time (due to the restrictions and remote working set up) and enjoy the great outdoors and look at trees which is something I have always loved doing since I was a little girl on walks and talking about trees with my father Neville Fay.

As we do work remotely at Treework, we don’t always get the opportunity to meet with our colleagues that often, and particularly over the last 18 months due to COVID. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time with Claire. Part of Treework’s core values is to ensure that we are able to all learn from each other and knowledge share, and with such highly skilled and experience professionals within the team, I really appreciated the opportunity to spend the day with her. I have also been invited to go on another ‘day in the field’ later in the year, to learn more about Tree Inventory and Risk surveys and expand my knowledge further which I am really looking forward to.

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