The Journey: An Introduction
I recently wrote about the variations that can exist among reports written in connection with planning applications and trees (to BS5837:2012). Truth is, this issue is not restricted to trees and planning. I have been at the launch of the new Lantra Mortgage course, and a core element of this training is the provision of a new model template to enable arborists to provide reports to a consistent style that does what is needed.
I have been touched by the feedback I received, and there is a recognition that the problem is more widespread than one would like. We have two choices in this. We can either shrug our shoulders and bemoan the situation. Or we can work together to help each other. I realised in the early days of peer reviews that some of the reports being submitted for formal appraisal were evidently not ready. Sometimes, the issues were fairly minor. Sometimes, they were fundamental.
One author was surprised that their report was unsuccessful and emphasised a confidence that the pending appeal against consent would be successful. The proposal involved creating an access which encroached the Root Protection Area of a significant tree, and the refusal of consent cited concerns about the arrangements to protect this tree. Mulch was to be applied to protect the rooting area. It was when I asked about depth, the possibility of boards to provide further protection and the use of minimum-dig surfacing that the author appreciated the level of detail that a Method Statement can require.
It can be hard, especially for those arborists working in small teams, to gain an insight in to what is required, and whether their work is ready for scrutiny. I recently helped someone in this position, and was encouraged by the feedback as they were able to apply suggestions to improve their template. There can be no room for complacency, and I need to review my own material on a regular basis.
So I have decided to share my thought and observations with those of you who wish to journey with me – As an extraordinarily reasonable cost only resource.
What challenges do you face?
What works for you?
What can we do better?
I am calling it The Journey, and, over the next 52 weeks, I’ll offer my musings and hopefully, we will end the time with improved work.