Resources

People

Our foremost resource is our staff. We directly employ 50 operatives with a mix of skills who work right across the company. We find this gives us a wide base from which to draw our teams, and gives us a guaranteed capacity for emergency callout. Both the nature of our Arboricultural work and our Ecological Contracting work are reliant on our ability to respond within a short time frame.

Although we are based in Dorset, depots in the midlands allow us to service contracts in the north of England and Wales with ease.

Fleet

Knighton’s sign written vans are a familiar in some areas, with our specially designed Arboriculture chip trucks out locally every day, and our bigger vans taking newt fencing to sites in and out of the county.

Our two cherry pickers are in constant use, and, with a 27m reach, we believe the 4 wheel drive Sky King to be the largest in Dorset. Both are available to hire with an operator.

For the ecology teams going nationwide, a combination of long wheel base Landrover Defenders and transit type vans allows us to access all terrains and conditions. We also operate car based vans whenever possible, in order to reduce our carbon footprint. The fitters have a fully equipped 4wd van for all access mobile support. Vehicles are well-equipped with signage, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and spill kits, but additional signage, PPE and resources are also provided at base.

Trees Surgery Trucks in Dorset Yard

Trees Surgery Trucks in Dorset Yard. Our specially designed tipping chip trucks have purpose built sections for signage and equipment

Our 27m reach 4WD cherry picker.

Plant

KCM’s plant has been carefully amassed over the years to give us as much versatility as possible.

Five Boxers, the Ditch Witch and the Green Climber all ready to go – a rare sight in the yard

Five Boxers, the Ditch Witch and the Green Climber all ready to go – a rare sight in the yard

Our skid steer loaders are an excellent aide to installing newt fencing on ecologically sensitive sites. They come with a range of fittings such as forks, buckets and trenchers, carrying out work that is often done with a larger plant. Because they have a small footprint and low impact we can often use them to speed up installation on sites which would otherwise need to be installed by hand. They can be transported by trailer, allowing us to service sites in and out of Dorset very quickly.

With advances in modern technology, we are increasingly using remote controlled equipment. Our Green Climber is particularly exciting, as it can be used on slopes that would be too steep to access safely using a directly operated machine. It is ideal for solar park work, as it fits under most panels, giving a better cut and quicker result. In terms of safety, the Predator Stump Grinder is also a great advance, allowing operators to work with better visibility and without exposure to vibration.

As well as the very specialised kit, Knighton owns plenty of ‘standard’ tree surgery and site clearance equipment. Our selection of chippers includes tracker, towed and tractor mounted machines with a capacity of up to 12 inches. Our crawler and tractor flails are ideal for scrub clearance on steep ground.

Other Plant Includes

Heizohack Whole Tree Woodchipper

Knighton’s Heizohack whole tree woodchipper is a brilliant resource for site clearance work. The chipper is crane fed and operates from a tractor. This means it is ideal for areas that might otherwise be hard to access. The chipper can process trees of 80cm – or 2″6 inches much more quickly than a standard machine. This can be used in conjunction with our Predator 65RX, a machine that has a cutting depth of 27 inches, a swing of 69 inches and a fantastic cutting speed. Despite its light weight and narrow gauge (it will fit through a 35 inch gateway), this is a serious piece of kit. Its operation is controlled remotely, making it one of the safest stump grinders available.

whole tree chipper and tractor in the Dorset Yard

Knighton’s Heizohack whole tree woodchipper with our Valtra Tractor

Finn HydroSeeder

Knighton Countryside own and have access to various Finn hydroseeders. The most versatile model we own is a Finn T60 machine, this is a compact, skid mounted machine with an application range of 27m, making it ideal for contracting use on projects such as construction sites, habitat creation and enhancement, and private landscaping. We can mount this machine on road going or off road trailers, tracked dumpers and rail RRV’s. Hydroseeding is an exceptionally good alternative to conventional planting or turfing, offering quick establishment and evenly distributed seed coverage. It is particularly useful for controlling erosion, as it can be used on areas that are otherwise inaccessible.

HydroSeeder in action

‘Slurry’ mix of mulch, seed and fertilizer being applied round trees prior to seeding the remaining area

Lucas Mobile Sawmill

Our Lucas Mill is a genius piece of equipment. They were developed in Australia, and have been carried up mountains; they fit in small trailers and can be carried by hand or ecen small boat. Their portability makes them ideal for work in off-beat locations. It is most often used by the

arboricultural teams, but has also been used to mill timber harvested on site to create (probably) the country’s only green oak badger sett.

The saw mill set up on site in Dorset

Knighton’s portable saw mill at work on site

Preparing to move timber from a site in the West Country

Preparing to move timber from a site in the West Country

Forwarder

As part of our woodland and clearance services we regularly need to move timber from sites. Our Botex forwarding trailer is ideal for this, attaching easily to our tractors and removing the need to drag logs across sensitive sites. Knighton owns three forwarders of varying size and capability, increasing our versatility for accessing different sites.

Excavators

Knighton own several 360° Excavators including a 2.6 tonne Hanix and a 7.4 tonne Takeuchi. Both of these are small enough to be transported easily on our own lorries, and are extremely versatile machines. Many of our staff have machine operator tickets, giving us the flexibility to operate plant wherever needed.

Picture of the Hanix

The 7 tonne Hitachi Excavator at work on a new badger sett

Fastrac and Flail

Betsy, our 1955 Fordson Major, dragging timber out of the woods

Betsy, our 1955 Fordson Major, dragging timber out of the woods

Tractors

We have an assorted fleet of tractors and other agricultural machinery. Our crawler is ideal for steep ground clearance work, and is mainly used for flailing, along with the larger tractors. These are also used for forwarding and hedge-cutting.

We are very proud of our recently restored Fordson Major, ‘Betsy’, who has been in Dorset since she was manufactured in 1955, first on the Moreton Estate and then with Knighton Countryside. Betsy is a member of the Knighton family and is still in regular use.

Telehandler

Our Manitou telehandler enables us to move resources around with ease, and is an essential piece of equipment. It can be driven to sites locally or transported nationwide on one of our flatbed lorries.

Another essential is our Protech P22 Post Knocker. A tracked machine, specifically designed for single handed use, it allows us to install fencing quickly, efficiently and safely.

Applying herbicide using a Quad Bike

Applying herbicide using a quad bike

Vegetation Control

Knighton have several different available methods of herbicide application. Our fully trained operatives can carry out spot spraying using knapsack sprayers. We can also offer a tractor with a boom, or a specially designed quad bike sprayer.