Implementation of a Tree Risk Management Strategy and Conducting a Baseline Tree Hazard Assessment
Client and Brief
The Jockey Club owns a significant area of land with a large tree population in and immediately around the Town of Newmarket in Suffolk. With a large amount of public access, busy roads and horse exercising facilities the potential risk associated with trees needed to be properly assessed and documented.
Oakbank was engaged to provide expert arboricultural advice and guidance in relation to the management of tree related risks within the Estate ownership.
Estate Tree Risk Management Policy. A simple policy document was developed, identifying what the Estate intends to do to manage the risk posed by trees.
Assessment of Risk - Zoning. Identification of the risks posed by trees in relation to people and property. All trees across the Estate were considered and those felt to pose a medium or high risk to Estate users were mapped as individual zones.
Assessing the Hazards – Baseline inspections of all trees within all zones. Assessing tree defects through a systematic inspection process.
Managing risk at an acceptable level: Identifying, prioritising and undertaking tree safety work according to level of risk and within a specified time scale.
Record Keeping: All documentation is concise, easily understood and communicated.
This approach helped establish the frequency with which re-inspections should take place and determine the necessary qualifications and competencies of those conducting the inspection of each zone. This delivered a re-inspection schedule that is cost effective, reasonable and practical for the Estate to adopt. A significant element of future annual inspections will be carried out by appropriate Estate staff, thus spreading out ‘bought in’ arboricultural consultancy services and therefore costs.
Baseline Tree Hazard Assessment
A baseline survey of all trees within the identified medium and high-risk Zones was carried out immediately. This way the Jockey Club Estate could be secure in the knowledge that the risk posed by its trees by the end of the process was reduced to ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practical) level.
The findings of the Tree Hazard Assessments were summarised in an arboricultural report, which identified the exact location of each tree requiring remedial work on a map, a prescription for recommended works and a risk rating and therefore timeframe for completion of works.
This strategy has enabled the Jockey Club Estate to adopt a cost effective and reasonable approach to managing trees under its control to ensure that a proactive and defensible system is in place for the future.