Summer 2018 Newsletter

Find out what Norfolk Wildlife Services has been up to over the Spring and Summer 2018. Read highlights of our projects and work in our 2018 summer newsletter, or alternatively you can select individual articles from the newsletter below.

This issue:

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Keep in touch, if you need any advice or protected species surveys undertaken please contact us!

Hazardous tree inspection for TPO

NWS Aborist Jim Allitt recently advised on the management of a substantial oak tree subject to a Tree Preservation Order and within the Broads National Park.

Our client, Mr Coleman, had concerns over the extent of deadwood in the canopy, especially where it was close to his and a neighbouring property, but as also keen to retain it as a beautiful feature of his home.

Mr Coleman asked NWS to determine the condition of the tree and make future management recommendations. The tree was surveyed to look at issues such as weak unions or forks, cavities, and especially any defects hidden higher in the canopy.

Hazard tree feature – Branch failure

Sometimes hazards are obvious but subtler hazards may go unnoticed and mechanical failure may occur without specialist management.

Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act (1957 and 1984) the ‘occupier of the land’ where the tree is rooted has a duty of care to ‘take reasonable steps to prevent or minimise the risk of personal injury or damage to property’, both for visitors to the occupiers land (1057) and other persons (1984). The law is quite complicated.

To avoid or deal with risks while retaining the tree, a reasonable and balanced approach to future management requirements is needed, with a full understanding of calculated risk involved. In this case, NWS suggested a 2m, crown reduction and to clear larger deadwood from the canopy so that ‘sailing’ from the wind stressed the branch unions less.

Aerial tree inspection by Jim

Since the tree was protected, the works had to be agreed with the local planning authority, the Broads Authority. NWS’s successful application demonstrated that the works retained the screening the tree provided but were also necessary to reduce the risk the tree posed to the adjacent house and property.

Trees as assets : 7 rules for designing with trees

Trees on a site increase visual attractiveness, are great for wildlife and add considerably to property values. Maximising use of existing tree assets in designs will maximise the financial benefits for new developments. Here are NWS’s 7 tips:

  1. To maximise value from tree assets start at the concept stage; here a simple tree survey will suffice: a ‘Tree Constraints Plan’ with ‘Root Protection Areas’ (RPA).
  2. RPAs are minimum core areas to protect your trees; seek specialist advice if RPA conflicts with your design as to whether redesign is required.
  3. On sites with many trees, use BS5837 categorisation to prioritise the importance of individual trees, based on amenity, wildlife and landscape value.
  4. Allow room for future growth based on tree’s longevity; shading plans help design building orientation and fenestration.
  5. Allow for “hidden” issues for trees such as visibility splays, drainage (esp SUDS) and utility connection; trees with faults may need intervention to help them.
  6. An Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) will help when instructing the contractor to protect trees plus organise site clearance, construction and final landscaping and planting.
  7. Find an arborist you can work with, seek their advice early and get their regular input.

If you are interested in how much your trees might add in value to your site, there are various techniques from the Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT) through to ecosystem services calculations.

Jim calculates a tree’s RPA

 

Suction solution for no-cut root route

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

 

 

 

Into The Woods: Low impact glamping at Moat Island

The site when developed will have 19 ‘glamping’ pitches as well as a communal kitchen area set within a woodland setting around a medieval moat which inspired the name ‘Moat Island Glamping’

The future Moat Island Glamping site

For the client, the sylvan setting of the trees were at the heart of the project as part of the core character of the site. For them connecting the ‘glampers’ with nature while conserving and enhancing that environment was key to success.

Working with the landscape architect Barnaby Baker and site manager Lewis Ennals, Jim, our arboriculturist gave both technical advice and inspiration as to what low impact glamping looked like. Essential when designing and constructing pitches amongst the surrounding trees and woodland. Accurate plotting of potential constraints using CAD software achieved a precise and technical solution.

New planting areas will provide both screening and wildlife interest and are all native species. Careful coppice rotation will also be introduced to provide a distinctive structure to the woodland and to allow an ever varied change in light levels, fully integrating the site into the woods.

 

Woodland Champion Award for our Arboricultural Consultant

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.

New addition to our Arboricultural Service

Featured

Jim Allitt, Arboriculturist

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.

Get a tree-mendous survey

On development sites trees are both important assets, but also potential constraints. Did you know that NWS offers the same development-advice service for trees as it already offers to clients for ecology ?

On the positive side, when managed well trees form key opportunities for wildlife, offer visual amenity to complement the architectural elements and can add a strong sense of place to new developments. They also create micro-climate buffers to sites by contributing screening and shade, reducing wind speed and turbulence, intercepting dust and rainfall, and stabilising temperatures. Mature trees add significant value to properties.

Conversely though, development that doesn’t consider tree roots, hazards, future growth and how the built environment relates to these natural assets will swiftly run into problems. Planning authorities – normally via a BS5837 survey – will carefully check how any new development relates to trees in and around the development site, and how they will be managed in the future.

Tree surveysAs part of the BS5837 survey report, we will assess the value of trees based on their health, remaining lifespan and amenity impact. We provide a Tree Constraints Plan (TCP) showing root protection areas and existing and future crown spreads in a format to suit the client. This is used to initially inform architects when designing site layouts. The TCP helps to inform future tree management and immediately identifies necessary tree works – including hazards.

An Arboricultural Implications Assessment (AIA) follows final design, where the impact of the design proposal on the surrounding trees is assessed as well as the interaction the trees will have on the finished development. This information informs the Tree Protection Plan (TPP) which gives advice on protective measures for the trees on site. The TPP also gives clear indications of potential conflict between trees and the proposed site layout.

Often following planning permission is the Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS), which specifies tree protection measures and any specialised construction techniques. An AMS provides the information package for contractors to fully protect trees during construction and is helpful for tendering works. In our tree surveys and reports, we will also offer guidance on replacements for trees removed and any new planting specifications.

If you have questions about the services offered by our new arboriculturist or if you would like to discuss how a tree survey would help your planning proposals please contact Jim Allitt on: Email: jamesa@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk Telephone: 01603 625540

 

*** NEW SERVICE *** Tree consultancy

Bee on thorn flower

Bee on thorn flower

Norfolk Wildlife Services now offers an arborist service for trees alongside its existing wildlife services.  During development planning, arboriculture often requires consideration with ecology. Indeed with bats and trees the two often interact.

Furthermore in many of our urban and brownfield spaces, trees and woodland are frequently important features – sites on which we already offer ecology advice to clients. Specified properly in site management, trees and woodland can offer enhancement for the amenity, ecology and landscape of a site, as well as benefits for leisure and recreation.

With arboriculture being a natural synergy with our other wildlife services, we wanted to offer our customers a joined up service for all their trees requirements.  What we offer is :

  •  Tree surveys for development ( to BS5837 )
  •  Woodland management and planting advice
  •  Arboricultural Impact Assessment
  •  Planting plans for small sites
  •  Applications for tree works
  •  Liaison with planners, tree officers and statutory authorities

We are not tree surgeons, but can recommend or source you a reliable contractor should you request. Our ability to source the right contractor for your circumstances means you will have the contractor that fits your needs.

Not sure what type of tree survey you need – read our easy introduction to tree surveys