Thursday, 16 February 2012

Tree safety......

The National Trust takes tree safety very seriously, and here at Scotney we're no different, so when a hanging branch was discovered in one of the Beech trees on the side of the main drive into Scotney the climbing team was called into action. 
The hanging (I put the arrow so it could be
easily identified!)
We're lucky here at Scotney to have a few qualified tree climbers on staff so there was no need to call in tree surgeons to deal with it, or as Dave likes to say "If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The Arb-Team" and as I have newly qualified I get to be a part of this team! 
Getting ready
Dave shoots the throw line into the tree
So we got kitted up, checked our ropes and then Dave showed us his big shot (an oversized catapult) skills by getting the throw line on a high branch. Then it was time to get going......

Dave showing us how it's done
Paul came to join our arb team as chief grounds men and was ready to stop any cars which may be in danger of any dropping branches, and he looked very fetching in his lovely orange hi-vis vest! He was later joined by the lovely Duncan who helped Paul both with the traffic management and the heckling of the climbers, especially the new climber!

 Paul, ready for action!
Duncan and Paul "working" hard!


The Beech tree was not as easy a climb as I had been lead to believe! I had been told it was dead easy, however this was a bit of a lie and as my first official climb at Scotney this tested my abilities to its limits. I allowed Dave to test his skills to get the hanging branch down, while I tested my ingenuity and hone my new climbing skills. Although when I finally caught up with Dave he was "working" hard, although to me it looked like he had found a natural hammock and was laying about!




Dave, very successfully managed to dislodge the hanging branch after a little persuasion and the branch came down with quite a thump! So much so that Anthony in the Walled garden heard it come down, he told us when we saw him later on that day. 

Paul and Duncan clearing up the debris
Me about 20meters up!



This was the highest and most challenging tree I've climbed so far, Dave estimated that we gone about 22meters high (about 70 feet), we knew this as a single rope was only just long enough to get us to the floor and our ropes are 45meters long. This was definately a good tree to test my fear of heights on, but with the support of such a great team my confidence is growing more and more every day, I just need to figure out how to get more branches stuck in the trees so I can go climbing again!
A big thanks has to go to my very own Obi Wan Kenobi (Dave) and to Duncan and Paul for all their support! You can all sleep easy knowing that the trees of Scotney are being well maintained!

Catrin 

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