CASE STUDY - BEETHAM PARISH COUNCIL
Thwaites Tree Care were contracted to carry out woodland management on the Sandside Cutting. The Sandside Cutting follows the line of the former Kendal to Arnside railway which opened in 1876 and closed in the early 1970s. It is owned by Beetham Parish Council (BPC) and the public trail through it was developed in 1995/6. The cutting lies within the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the parish council works closely with them to ensure repairs are carried out in a timely manner. The work needed to be sympathetic to the existing habitat and the unique environment.
WOODLAND MANAGEMENT ON THE SIDE OF A RAVINE
In 2019/20 Beetham Parish Council required a comprehensive and cost-effective solution to provide necessary management of the woodland on the side of the Sandside Cutting; and also compliment the AONB status and the publics safe enjoyment of the trail.
Thwaites Tree Care are experienced with working in such environments. Our lead climber has extensive experience working in locations such as the city centre of Sydney, Australia; steeply sided woodland in the Western Isles of Scotland and live electrical power line clearance where safety is paramount. Using this experience with modern techniques, our team were able to access the steep ravine safely.
Due to the hazardous nature of this site, the project required highly skilled Arborists, trained and experienced in dismantling trees. The work was further complicated by the instability of the cliff, requiring exceptional health and safety measures; including on-site communication by utilising our team Helmet Safety Intercom System which allows all our team members to communicate with each other effectively; even at elevated noise levels. Our thorough risk assessment identified the need for two skilled Climbers to work on the ravine at all times, one would cut and the other act as a second pair of eyes to dynamically assess any potential risks before any cuts were made. Then two of our experienced Groundsman undertook the difficult task of clearing the trees once felled into the Drop Zone and carried out the removal of small trees and scrub clearance lower down the cutting.
The work was completed using a phased approached to ensure that those trees most at risk from disease and other environmental factors were removed first then further trees removed only where they posed an identifiable risk. The cut timber was stacked at the request of BPC neatly at the side of the trail and all branches and foliage chipped and spread upon the site to improve biodiversity. The popular public trail was then cleared of sawdust and other associated debris prior to reopening, this project was completed on time and to the satisfaction of our valued customer, Beetham Parish Council.