Historic Parks and Gardens

Goudhurst, Kent

Bedgebury started its life as a Pinetum in the 19th Century when the Beredford family started to plant newly discovered and recently introduced tree species, much of which still remain as part of the modern Pinetum.

The Pinetum was purchased by the Forestry Commission in 1925 as the conifer specimens within the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew were suffering from London’s high pollution levels and needed to be relocated. In partnership with Kew, the Forestry Commission established a new collection allowing both organisations to continue their work and studies with conifers.

Due to the introduction of the Working at Height Regulations 2005, the Forestry Commission decided to restrict their employees from aerial canopy access activities in order to adhere to these regulations. This led to the formation of a new framework contract to deliver aerial arboriculture to all sites including Bedgebury within the South East of England. As well as being awarded this contract, we have also been awarded the Forestry Operations contract specifically for the Bedgebury Pinetum site.

To date we have conducted various tree safety works to trees adjacent to footpaths and other trees within the higher usage areas of the site that are in the early stages of decline. These works range from crown lifting, deadwood removal and crown reductions, to complete dismantling for tree removal.

For the Forestry Operations contract, we have carried out the first phase of coppice rotation with associated extraction.

In order to satisfy the terms of the arboricultural contract, we were required to up-skill our staff to formally deal with windblown, and multiple windblown trees. As such, we now have three operatives qualified with NPTC CS34 (windblow), CS35 (multiple windblow) and CS50 (emergency tree operations). This in itself has led to an increased demand for our services as an emergency team by other commercial clients.

Figure 1. A sample of the vast conifer collection


Figure 2. Our team climbing the Old Man of Kent