Knighton Countryside Management Ltd is an Arboricultural Association Approved Contractor, and as such, we work to the highest standards in the industry. We are proud to be an approved contractor for Dorset County Council, and we have been looking after Dorset’s trees for several years, with work ranging from emergency callouts to work on large infrastructure projects such as the A338 Enhancement Scheme. Our staff include general operatives and groundsmen right through to highly qualified arborists. Because of the fluid structure of our teams and our large workforce, we are able to float staff between the Arboricultural teams and the Mitigation teams depending on workflow. We carry out tree surgery nationwide as well as in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Devon, particularly where specialist work is needed.
Knighton Countryside Management Ltd directly employs 50 operatives with a variety of qualifications, of whom around 10 are fully qualified arborists.
All our work is carried out to BS 3998 2010: Recommendations for Tree Work, AFAG, FISA and Arboricultural Association Guidelines.
Scheduling Tree Works
Knighton’s arborists understand that some species may require works scheduling at different times, and are able to advise clients on good practice. This might include constraints such as bird and bat roosts, or optimum times for pruning different species.
As a Countryside Management Company, we spend a considerable amount of time planting trees, and over the years the company has planted millions (literally) of trees in England, starting after the storms of 1987. Often, new staff will begin work for us on tree planting jobs, and as such they develop a thorough knowledge of the methodology, including soil preparation, drainage and irrigation.
Felling and Stump Removal
Knighton Countryside Management Ltd carry out a great deal of site clearance and vegetation management work. Felling of beautiful historic trees is never desirable, and before we fell we will do our level best to discuss and devise ways in which trees can be saved. When felling becomes necessary, we can liaise with the tree officers and make sure the necessary paperwork is in place, particularly if the site in question has a tree preservation order.
Our qualified arborists are supported in felling and stump removal by the ground teams and machine operators who have a variety of equipment at their disposal. Our principal Stump grinder is a remote controlled Predator P65, which allows us to work efficiently and safely. Our BASIS Amenity Assured status reflects our expertise in stump treatment and the removal of invasive species such as rhododendron.
Pruning and Related Work
Knighton’s Arborists have the knowledge and qualifications to carry our pruning and related tasks to the standards outlined in BS 3998:2010. More complex jobs will be planned carefully and we encourage discussion of approaches between staff. Our apprentices bring a new eye and fresh techniques to the team, ensuring that there is regular discussion of the different species and cultivars and best practice for managing them.
Knighton own a range of equipment, such as our 27m reach lorry mounted 4×4 cherry picker. This enables us to carry out the majority of work in house. This, together with our smaller cherry picker and specially designed chip trucks, allows us to access most terrains and sites without having to subcontract or hire in extra equipment. Nonetheless, our expertise and experience means we work confidently with enormous and ancient trees that require machinery with an even bigger reach.
Veteran & Ancient Trees
At Knighton we are always excited to work on veteran or ancient trees. The definition of ancient varies from species to species – an oak at 150 years old is relatively young, whereas a birch tree of this age would certainly be classed as ancient. Venerable trees we have worked on include the legendary Beech Avenue at Kingston Lacy, the magnificent trees in the parkland surrounding Sherborne Castle, and a stunning Cedar of Lebanon in the grounds of Lytchett Minster School.
Habitat, Wildlife and Invasive Species
All our employees receive training in identifying invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed. They understand the need to be aware of nesting birds, and the legislation concerning protected species. We have staff in house who are qualified and experienced in carrying out Bat Surveys. We are used to working on sensitive sites, such as SSSIs, under the supervision of an Ecological Clerk of the Works, and we understand the need to conform to Natural England Guidance and other protective legislation. This means you can be reassured that they will be careful and vigilant when working on your site.