Friday, 24 December 2010

Season’s Greetings

As the dog sled of time makes its way across the wintry landscape, pausing under leaden skies only long enough to cock a leg at Old Father Time, all that remains is for me, and the late, great, Humph, to wish you all the very best for Christmas and the new year!

For that last minute Christmas present, why not a single-user licence for ARBORtrack? It’s a great programme, but we only scratch the surface of it’s complex functionality and so I’m looking to forward it to a new home –

Don’t forget, you can continue to follow my bite-sized ramblings on Twitter –


Monday, 20 December 2010

A wintery tale

Since I last posted we’ve had a significant dump of snow and our surveying in Oxford has ground to a halt – my team simply cannot see enough detail to make a realistic comment upon tree condition.

I’ve also been to a meeting at Nuneaton and Bedworth Council to discuss the service that we currently deliver, and how we can improve our service for the client team so maintaining everyone’s duty of care.

I had an instruction from Shire Consulting to provide a number of tree assessments on primary school sites in Birmingham – demographic changes (as well as some political changes I suspect) have lead to plans to re-develop some school sites and so my client wanted detail of tree species and of ultimate height as an aid to foundation design. But, I am a bit down the food chain, I wonder if Shire know that I exist?

Since my last blog I’ve gone and joined Twitter – I don’t know if it will do any good but you can follow my bite-sized ramblings @HazellTowers

should get you there, he said optimistically!

I hope that you all have a great Christmas, and I look forward to welcoming you back in the new year!

Friday, 10 December 2010

A winter’s tale

We have now got our new ICT, ArcGIS10 from ESRI UK, I’ve no idea how to use it just yet but my team of field-based assessors have migrated from the previous software package to the new, without apparently too much trouble . . .

My children are delighted that I’ve now moved into the 1990s with my very own PDA, a least I can now access some of the sites that I need for work whilst on the move. The PDA supports Excel and so I should be able to carry out simple surveys myself without constantly referring to an IT self-help book!

The weather has played havoc with fieldwork, but we are not alone in having to deal with that particular complication.

Practically speaking
The data sets for Oxford Homes have been submitted, I think that our team on the ground have done realy well, there are issues behind the scenes with how data is being presented but that’s no reflection on Henry and Nick.

We’re now busy working through the public open spaces, a rather bigger project than any of us expected – we’ll need to add more capacity in the New Year, so if you are interested make contact!

The job for Tamworth has begun well, and we have found a very good young surveyor to lead that project for us – he knows his stuff and can share his enthusiasm and knowledge with others.

I’ve carried out a number of tree surveys on primary school sites in Birmingham to help foundation designers working on proposals to redevelop the sites to increase their capacity.

We are about to move onto the next stage of the inventory survey for Glendale in Nuneaton, the winter survey. I’m using an established local consultant to help on that, part of the learning from the now infamous job for the still un-named housing organisation!

Oh dear reader, that project, for the (still) un-named housing organisation has highlighted certain of my failings, such as the inability to exert sufficient quality control measures! The work has been submitted, and rejected as a sample of the output reviewed by the client was deemed to be of an inferior quality. It remains an unhappy experience for me, but I have held on to the learning!

Small instructions continue to pop up; some provide the opportunity to work with other disciplines on site, such as urban designers, others are the preserve of the solitary arboriculturist.

Expressly interesting
Since I last blogged (is that really a word?) I am more convinced that the market for sizable opportunities has stagnated, small jobs still cross my desk but nothing substantial. Is that the influence of the economic downturn, the coalition’s spending plans or my reputation – who can tell!