Lockhart Garratt has seen a rise in demand for their services, allowing them to grow as a business. The company focuses on giving advice on environmental problems and solving issues such as ash dieback, tree planting and green infrastructure.
“We have specialists in a range of environmental disciplines that are increasingly important to the public”, says Andy Poynter, Senior Consultant for Lockhart Garratt. “We are actively recruiting to meet demand and broadening the services we offer.”
The company now employs almost 40 staff members in Chipping Norton and Corby in a range of disciplines including ecology, landscape architecture, forestry, woodland management and land restoration.
Recently, Lockhart Garratt published a guide to managing ash dieback (Read about it here). Ash dieback is a fungus from Asia. When it came over to Europe about 30 years ago, it affected ash trees across the continent, resulting in trees dying. In 2012, the disease reached the UK.
“We need to learn from the experience of mainland Europe where the disease has been present since 1992. The majority of ash trees might decline over the next 10-15 years, which means that we have a limited time frame for action.”
“The biggest problem of managing ash dieback is the misunderstanding that the trees need to be felled. We get a range of enquiries on the basis they been advised to fell all their ash trees”, says Poynter.
That’s why they decided to publish a guide. “Our guidance provides a starting point, but also comfort we do not feel everything needs felling.”
Their position is that ash trees have an important role to play in both the rural and urban environments and it advises clients to take a balanced approach. They developed the RACER programme (Resource, Approach, Compliance, Execution and Replant) to deal with ash dieback.
Lockhart Garratt are also providing guidance on many more environmental issues. The company’s mission statement is “To utilise the depth and breadth of our knowledge and experience of the natural environment to deliver pragmatic solutions through the provision of professional advice of the highest quality.”
“The fact we are very busy indicates our multidisciplinary approach is successful”, says Poynter. “Our forestry team are very involved with a variety of tree planting schemes, driven by the need to lock up carbon. Timber sales are also busy. We also work on green infrastructure with development schemes.”
Poynter has seen the impact their work makes on a national and local level. “We have a presence on key committees that influence national policies, but importantly we also sponsor a range of student qualifications and awards as we recognise the need to educate the next generation.”