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Out and About: A BS5837 Tree Survey

With the cold weather and recent snow it’s really felt like winter lately, which has meant digging out the woolies!  This month we have been out in the elements a fair bit.  Here’s a flavour of where we have been and why…

Where: A potential development site in rural Oxfordshire

The job: A BS5837 Tree Survey

Our client: A firm of architects

What we did:

10am: Arrived at our destination – a potential development site made up of three units and associated parking.  The area was home to seventeen individual trees and one group of trees, so we got to work plotting their locations.

10.30am: The next job was to record as much as we could about each tree and tree group.  This included gathering information such as the species, height, stem diameter, branch spread and life stage.  We also categorised the trees according to their condition.  All of the data was captured on a database using a Surface Pro.  This is a lot easier than fiddling about with a pen and paper, especially when it’s windy or rainy – technology can be a wonderful asset sometimes!

12.30pm: Job done (for now)…Time to head back to base.

2pm: Uploaded all of the data we collected onto AutoCad ready to produce the Constraints Plan.  One of the things this will show is the location of the tree roots (which extend much further than people might imagine)!  This is important because any development in these areas could cause damage to the tree roots, and vice versa.  A Constraints Plan also shows the extent of the tree canopies.  Again, this is an important consideration when developing land as it can mean leaves in the gutters of buildings, branches encroaching on windows and roofs, and, of course, unwelcome shade.  In a nutshell, a Constraints Plan gives a developer a good indication of where they should or should not build.

3.30pm: We got to work writing the Arboricultural Impact Assessment.  This is a detailed report which looks at the findings of the Constraints Plan in relation to the proposed layout of the development.

The next day: Report complete, we emailed it to the client ready for submission to the Local Authority in question.  Whether or not planning approval is given for the development is now out of our hands, but we have helped ensure that the client has all the information they needed to be able to forge ahead.

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