Latest News

  • Help! There‚Äôs a tree in the way of my pipe...

    Posted On 26 Feb 2015 by Middlemarch Environmental

    As a consultant I have heard many clients discuss at length how wonderful trees are and how they add an air of maturity to a development. Trees offer many benefits but it is amazing how opinions can change once they are deemed to be ‘in the way’. The simplest, and usually the most cost effective, option for a developer is to fell the tree. However this is not always possible, either due to legislative restrictions where the tree does not belong to the client, or simply because the client wishes to keep the tree for amenity purposes.

    One such case involved installation of a foul water pipe within close proximity of a Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) which was subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). The pipe was required to connect a new development with the existing water network which was located 22m from the development. At its closest the pipe passed 3.2m from the stem of the tree. Due to the development layout and location of the existing infrastructure, no alternative route for the pipe was possible.

    The presence of a TPO provides a degree of protection to the Sycamore tree and as such its removal was undesirable. The installation of the pipe using traditional methods (excavation with a mechanical excavator)would result in large scale severance, damage and loss of roots, potentially leading to the death of this tree. This is when the Middlemarch Arboriculture Team was called for assistance!

    First, the Arboricultural Team reviewed the options. To comply with legislation and prevent damage to the protected tree a precautionary approach was required for the pipe installation. Three options were considered: hand digging and spoil removal with hand tools; excavation with an ‘air-spade’ and spoil removal with hand tools; and excavation with an ‘air-spade’ and spoil removal via vacuum. The first two options, which use traditional hand tools, were considered unsuitable as the use of spades, picks and forks would still result in root severance and a long term impact upon the protected tree. Excavation with an ‘air-spade’ and removal of spoil with a vacuum was consequently selected as the most appropriate method.

    Vacuum excavation of soil uses a high power vacuum suction system. A jet of air (delivered via an air-spade) is used to first loosen soils. The soil is then extracted using an air vacuum hose which transports it to a spoil/debris tank for later disposal or backfilling, which is a bit like a giant vacuum cleaner. The use of this technique allows the tree roots to be exposed and therefore avoided (and not damaged) during the installation of the pipe.

    To further ensure the Sycamore tree was not damaged during the works, Middlemarch attended the site to supervise the excavation works. The vast majority of roots could be retained and were covered with hessian sacking to prevent desiccation while the trench was open. Any minor roots that were damaged were severed using secateurs to leave a clean wound which reduced the potential for infection with pathogens. The pipe was successfully installed and no impact upon the tree is envisaged.

    This example demonstrates there are usually options available to allow retention of trees which are seen to be ‘in the way’. Middlemarch’s Arboricultural Team are more than happy to discuss ideas with clients. You might be surprised how simple some options are and what a difference retaining trees makes to a development.

    To find out more or to book an appointment, give Middlemarch Envrionmental a call on 01676 525 880 or click here to use our contact form.

     

    Posted In Aboricultural Tagged

     
  • Arboricultural Services: Vacuum Excavation

    Posted On 2 Feb 2015 by Middlemarch Environmental

    BarhaleWSP were involved in the installation of a foul water pipe in close proximity to a protected Sycamore tree at a development site in Leeds. The Middlemarch Arboricultural Team were contacted to provide pragmatic advice on preventing harm to the protected tree during the works. In consultation with the client it was determined that vacuum excavation was the most appropriate method.

    Vacuum excavation of soil uses a high power vacuum suction system. Firstly a jet of air (delivered via an air-spade)is used to loosen soils. The soil is extracted through an air vacuum hose which transports it to a spoil/debris tank for later disposal or backfilling. The use of this technique allowed tree roots to be exposed and therefore avoided (and not damaged) during the installation of the pipe. The pipe was successfully installed without any harm to the tree.

    Posted In Aboricultural Tagged

     
  • New Opportunitiy at Middlemarch Environmental Ltd

    Posted On 16 Dec 2013 by Middlemarch Environmental

    Arboricultural Consultant

    Middlemarch Environmental Ltd is an established ecological consultancy looking to recruit an Arboricultural Consultant to support the fast growing arboricultural division.  The post will be based in Coventry, although the successful applicant will be required to travel throughout the UK.

    The post would suit a graduate with a Technicians Certificate in Arboriculture. Experience in a similar post would be an advantage but is not essential.

    The successful candidate will undertake arboricultural surveys, impact assessments and method statements.  An understanding of BS5837:2012 and an awareness of trees in the planning system is essential.  The Arboricultural Consultant will also be required to compile reports, letters and proposals and as such good communication skills are essential.  Experience of ecological surveying including surveys for bats and knowledge of GIS/CAD systems would be advantageous.

    The package will include a competitive salary (£18-24k, dependent on experience and skills) with a performance related bonus available, 24 days holiday, pension and an opportunity for continued professional development.

    Please follow the link below for a detailed job description and instructions on how to apply. If you have any questions or wish to discuss the role then please contact Lucy Philpott or Ed Lusk on 01676 525880.

    The deadline for applications is 13th January 2014.


    Posted In Aboricultural Tagged

     
  • New Tree Team Member!

    Posted On 11 Mar 2013 by Middlemarch Environmental

    Marco Bartolini Joins our Tree Team

    Marco has recently joined our tree team at Middlemarch Environmental Ltd, and will be leading our Hampshire office.  Marco is a qualified arboricultural consultant and surveyor. His interests lie in conservation and arboriculture, his skills are utilised by the Hampshire Wildlife Trust to carry out woodland management and ecological surveys.

    Marcos Experience

    His previous experience included carrying arboricultural inspections and advice for development proposals and advising on matters relating to ecology and trees. Marco has also worked as a tree officer for Southampton Council, dealing with public enquiries, TPO tree work, surveying and advising on planning applications.

    More than just Trees

    Marcos experience has led him to carry a variety of survey work in all areas of the country, including London, Devon, Derbyshire and Nottingham, for clients such as local authorities, housing developers and planning consultants.

    Marco holds a great crested newt licence and has experience with undertaking bat activity surveys.

    Marco is CRB checked in compliance for access into school premises.

    Posted In Aboricultural Tagged

     
  • New Opportunitiy at Middlemarch Environmental Ltd

    Posted On 11 Apr 2012 by Middlemarch Environmental

    Arboricultural Officer

    Middlemarch currently has the following full-time opportunity, within this role you will develop skills and knowledge in arboricultural surveys and assessments and working in a consultancy environment.

    The successful candidate will undertake or assist with arboricultural surveys, implications assessments and method statements.  An understanding of BS5837 (2005) and an awareness of trees in the planning system is desired.  The Arboricultural Officer/Assistant will also be required to compile reports, letters and proposals and as such good communication skills are essential.  Experience of ecological surveying including surveys for bats and knowledge of GIS/CAD systems would be advantageous.

    The package will include a competitive salary (dependent on experience and skills) with a performance related bonus available, 24 days holiday, pension and an opportunity for continued professional development.

    Closing date for all applications is the 14th May 2012.

    The interview date for this role is 21st May 2012.

    If you have any questions or wish to discuss the role then please contact Lucy Philpott (Arboricultural Manager).

    Posted In Aboricultural Tagged Arboricultural

     
  • Working Close to Protected Trees

    Posted On 9 Jan 2012 by Middlemarch Environmental

    Middlemarch Environmental Ltd has extensive experience of working in close association with developers and local authorities to provide Creative Ecological Solutions to potential issues with trees on development sites.

    Coventry City Council proposed to construct a new single storey extension a few metres from a visually and culturally important tree which was subject to a Tree Preservation Order at Sacred Heart School in Coventry. 

    Middlemarch Environmental Ltd in consultation with structural engineers designed a foundation system to prevent damage to the nearby tree during construction and allow it to prosper post-development. This consisted of excavation work being repositioned away from the tree roots, and the final foundation design utilised clay board to create a void beneath the finished floor slab. This will allow the tree to gain valuable nutrients, water and oxygen, ensuring the long term viability of the tree.

    Elka Williams (Project Manager, Coventry City Council) worked closely with Middlemarch and stated “Middlemarch’s input was invaluable and allowed us to construct the new school extension whilst retaining and protecting this important tree. I would not hesitate to utilise their services for future projects”

    Posted In Aboricultural Tagged