June 21, 2018

Perennial launches online budgeting tool to help manage finances

budgeting

Perennial, the UK horticulture industry’s charity, has launched an online budgeting tool to help people understand their financial position and plan ahead. As the cost of living continues to rise beyond that of economic recovery, more and more people working across the UK horticulture sector are struggling to make ends meet, or are unable to put anything by for savings or emergencies. Taking control of finances, particularly when earning a low wage, is not easy but Perennial’s new online tool is designed to help people manage their money and to suggest changes to improve their finances. Matthew Cooper, debt advice manager at Perennial, says: “Creating a budget is important because…

Read More

Michael Gove will tell councils to stop tree felling to cut costs

gove

Councils will be told to stop felling thousands of trees to slash costs after the environment secretary appointed an expert to protect them. Michael Gove said Sir William Worsley — chair of the National Forest Company — would “rapidly drive forward planting rates and prevent street trees being felled”. The Cabinet minister last year accused council chiefs of “environmental vandalism” for chopping down trees. It came after he branded a scheme by Sheffield city council which felled more than 4,400 trees over the past five years as part of a £2.2bn road maintenance contract with Amey as “bonkers”. But the…

Read More

ICF extend search for new Development Director until September

director

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) has extended its deadline in the search for a new Development Director. Candidates wishing to apply for this senior ICF role now have until September 30th to submit an application. The role will lead on development activities at the Institute, and it will also entail improving professional standards in the forestry and arboriculture sector. ICF is the leading professional body for forestry and arboriculture professionals in the UK, offering Royal Chartered status. The role for the ICF is to provide services to its members and also to regulate standards of entry into the profession….

Read More

Service Delivery in Arboriculture part two: Collaborative working – Martin Gammie

Martin Gammie

Martin Gammie discusses how we can work with other disciplines to achieve a sustainable urban treescape Last month we considered the need to change the way we engage with our clients and how this might influence the effectiveness of the services we provide. Now I want venture beyond the world of arboriculture. I have given presentations at seminars and conferences to audiences from a variety of disciplines with the aim of disseminating the principles and best practice the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) is promoting. I often suggest we spend too much time talking to each other, preaching to the converted. This could be said of most professions. We are all comfortable engaging with our…

Read More

Sell the sizzle, not the sausage – Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke explains that your customers don’t just care about the size of your widgets My wife and I are about to take on a great project and build our own place, meaning country living half mile down a rough road. We have one grandchild with a second on the way. And then of course there’s Trevor, our dog. All this was pointing towards 4×4 – a Chelsea tractor, albeit with the justification of actually living in the country. We whittled the list down to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, an amazing hybrid that does 149 miles to the gallon; the Kia Sportage with its famous seven year warranty and the Ranger Rover Evoque, which is just…

Read More

There’s no shame in being an employee – Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell

Regular work bringing regular cash or independence and the opportunity to plough your own furrow. Jonathan Hazell examines the pros and cons of being an employee I have found a certain stigma among tree workers concerning the prospect of joining a business as an employee but I do not understand why, despite the variety of reasons put forward. Many like the security of being employed while others enjoy the freedom of self-employment. There are advantages and disadvantages to both but neither model is wrong. Neither model suits everyone, nor should either be disparaged. What’s not to like? Every day a decent employer will provide you with everything you need, you will be provided with suitable…

Read More

Dare to be different – Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke explains how to differentiate your business without driving down profits. What can you gain from swimming in the sea of sameness, just doing the same as everyone else? If your aim is keep below the radar and shoot for mediocrity, then maybe I get it. However, I doubt that’s what most people in business want. I doubt very much that it’s what you want either. Would I be right? When you’re offering the same as your competitors, all you can compete on is price and that’s never a good thing from a profit perspective nor is it a healthy place to be for your sanity. To succeed in business today it’s vital to…

Read More

Consultancy Vs Contracting – Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell illustrates the differences between consultants and contractors with a closer look at a consultant’s report. It goes without saying that there are some very good practitioners in the fields of both arboricultural contracting and arboricultural consulting. However, an expert in one field may be ineffective in the other and you, as the practitioner, may well have a role in guiding the customer to the right expert. The consultant’s role is to evaluate a client’s needs and provide expert advice and opinion on what needs to be done, whilst the contractor role is generally to actually perform the work. We all know of examples of the point I am trying to make. One such…

Read More

Your client approach needs updating – Martin Gammie

A fresh look at how we engage with clients and collaborate with other disciplines is long overdue,  says Martin Gammie. Arborists can’t always allow clients to dictate on key issues like timing.   My recent work with the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) on its latest best practice guidance document gave me an opportunity to consider the delivery of arboricultural services more broadly. What I hope to do here is stimulate thoughts on how we might change our approach to service delivery while focusing on two main areas: ● Engaging with the client ● Collaborative working with other disciplines The first question is perhaps ‘why change?’ To answer this we need to consider…

Read More

Showcase your skills with the R2 register

R2

R2, the new online tool that allows you to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and experience to potential customers, will soon be live. Here’s how it works… The new Register of Tree Work Operatives (R2) looks set to provide arboriculturists with the opportunity to demonstrate their attained skills and experience, businesses with the necessary information to identify which operatives have the required skills to undertake specific types of tree work and to prove compliance when tendering for new contracts. Speaking about the positive feedback the scheme received from a recent pilot group, the chair of the project’s management committee, Jaime Bray of Treetop Arboriculture, said: “It is exciting to hear that most have found R2 to be…

Read More