In June 2017, Anglian Water began work on a pipeline renewal scheme at Belstead Water Tower, Ipswich. Trenching 1.2m deep by 0.5m wide was required to allow pipe-laying, but the only route out of the compound was in the Root Protection Area (RPA) of large oak, an important group of TPO trees.
Norfolk Wildlife Services worked with Anglian Water and Conroys to create an Arboricultural Method Statement [AMS]. An innovative solution practical technology – a suction excavator [Conroy Vac Ex] – to prevent need to cut roots with ground protection techniques to protect tree roots of the protected trees from vehicle damage.
The suction excavator removes the soil around the roots, eliminating the need to cut through them in order to create the trench. Major roots were left intact which means the trees ability to take up water and nutrients was not compromised. Exposed roots were wrapped with wet hessian to prevent desiccation. The pipe was then laid underneath the routes and the trench was then backfilled with the original soil, minimising disruption to the trees’ water supply in a period of dry weather.
Ground protection techniques help prevent compaction of the soil around the tree roots
Work begins on suction excavation of trench around tree roots using Conroy Vac Ex
Work with Conroy Vac Ex suction excavator continues on open trench and tree roots
Wet hessian bags were wrapped around the roots to avoid desiccation.
Pipe laying commences
Jim Allitt, Woodland Champion Award
Our Arboricultural Consultant Jim Allitt was awarded a 2017 Wildlife and Woodland Champion Award for his work on a joint project run by Bat Conservation Trust and Natural England. Jim volunteered his time to support the “Woodland Bat Project” which is a pioneering study on how bats use woodlands.
Jim said “I am delighted to accept this award – it is a great project to be involved with and it is a privilege to work with some delightful people in a very inspiring place”.
Jim brought extensive knowledge of trees and woodland management to the project. As well as offering his experience as a bat worker, he regularly carried out transects and roost counts within the woodland. Other survey work associated with the project included vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping, moth and butterfly surveys, bird surveys, and deer impact surveys. The data collected provides a useful baseline to monitor how the woodland is changing and what effects that climate change will have on the species associated with the woodland.
The project is always looking for volunteers to help throughout the surveying season. Transects run regularly throughout the summer and it is a great way to experience and learn about the history, past use and wildlife interest of the woods. The project has been running for a number of years and recently acquired Heritage Lottery Funding to employ a part time volunteer co-ordinator post. If you would like to learn more about the project you can contact the Bat Conservation Trust or email sreveley[at] bats.org.uk
If you have any questions regarding woodland management or any aspects of bats and trees please contact Jim Allitt via email jamesa[at]norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk or phone 01603 625540.
Jim Allitt surveying trees
As introduction I am James “Jim” Allitt – the arboricultural consultant – at Norfolk Wildlife Services, where we can offer you full tree surveys and advice to British Standards BS5837. I am also a fully qualified tree surgeon with a Level 4 diploma, a Lantra Professional Tree Inspection award and full tickets for aerial inspection and MEWPs. I like to think I have a combination of the planning and the practical. I will also be blending these arb skills with ecology advice, where my 8 years working on National Nature Reserves in North and West Norfolk comes in handy.
Our vision is of a fully joined up ecology and tree consultancy service, helping client’s projects to success and sustainability.
Trees and woodlands have been a great fascination to me from the local woods of my youth in Yorkshire to my time in Ireland with Coillte ( the Irish Forestry Board ) as an arborist. Once area I have a specialist interest in is Ancient trees and landscape history. We will be offering a ‘Valuing and managing veteran trees’ lunchtime seminar in March. I hope to meet some of you then. Keep in touch and let me know how I can help you with your projects.
Take a look at our Tree Surveys and Consultancy page for more information on the full range of services we can offer.