HAVS Awareness Day
Practicality Brown hosted a ‘HAVS Awareness and Investigation’ day. This initiative was driven by Fusion JV to look at whether the risk of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) can be reduced within the land and vegetation clearance industry.
What is HAVS
Workers whose hands are regularly exposed to high levels of vibration may suffer from a variety of work-related injuries to the hands and arms, including impaired blood flow and nerve damage. Collectively the injuries and the symptoms they cause are known as HAVS, also known as “White Finger”.
Reducing HAVS risk
Whilst much of the risk of HAVS has been removed by mechanising vegetation works, we still have the need to use chainsaws within the industry. Practicality Brown use Dymax Tree shears; 10” on 8-tonne excavators, 14” on 14 tonne and a 16” on 21 tonne, which are optimum for vegetation clearance, however, the diameter of the cut is limited. Chainsaws still need to be used to; cut large diameter material, in locations inaccessible for plant and where mobilisation of large equipment is uneconomical.
If large sections of timber are felled by chainsaw then further cutting can be kept to a minimum as excavators with tree shears, selector grabs or wood crackers, forestry forwarders and whole tree chippers can be used to process the timber. We would not expect any Practicality Brown chainsaw operator to get close to HAVS exposure limits during our clearance operations.
This event aimed to highlight, increase awareness and investigate how tool manufacturers are helping to further reduce the risk of HAVS with the release of new equipment.
After presentations from Practicality Brown and Fusion, Stihl and Husqvarna exhibited and discussed new models of chainsaw including new petrol injected and battery-powered models. The different saws were used in a live demonstration whilst being monitored for their HAVS outputs. This revealed some interesting results which we will report on in the near future..
Here at Practicality Brown, health and safety and occupational health are our number one priority and want to provide the best possible working conditions for our employees. Awareness days like this will hopefully help to drive and improve industry standards for HAVS.
Practicality Brown at RHS Hampton Court
Every year, Practicality Brown have the pleasure of working with talented Garden Designers at the Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious Garden Shows and this July we supplied six gardens at Hampton Court with 75m of our Instant Hedge as well as five semi-mature trees.
Five gardens used our Practical Native Mix Instant Hedge, which has plants that are all native to the UK, reflecting traditional country hedgerows and are therefore very wildlife friendly. Grown here at our nursery in Iver, we have taken great care with these instant hedging solutions to supply a premium quality product.
BBC Springwatch Garden (Feature Garden)
This special Feature Garden, designed by Jo Thompson, was inspired by Kate Bradbury’s wildlife garden for BBC Springwatch. British gardens cover an area bigger than all of the country’s nature reserves combined which is being represented in the BBC Springwatch Garden, as it shows three gardens belonging to different neighbours. Each with its own character and features to attract wildlife, working towards a common cause through gardening. Our Practical Native Mix Instant Hedge reinforces these wildlife benefits. Built by Bespoke Outdoor Spaces
Through Your Eyes (Show Garden)
Silver medal winner
This Show Garden, designed by Lawrence Roberts of Elements Garden Design, provided an immersive experience for the show visitor. The garden was overlooked by a large William Roobrouck sculpture that can be entered, allowing each person a moment alone to contemplate the garden and its message. Mental health, age, family and friendships are all addressed in the garden through the materials and the choice of planting. Our Native Mix formed the borders to this thoughtful garden. Built by Shrub and Stone.
The Naturecraft Garden (Lifestyle Garden)
Silver medal winner and Peoples’ Choice Award for Lifestyle & Global Impact Garden
Designed by Pollyanna Wilkinson, and inspired by botanical crafts, the garden explored how we can create beautiful objects from the plants that we grow. Crafts included natural dyes, herbal medicines, flower pressing and willow weaving. As well as their decorative value, the plants in this country garden all have a purpose, whether it be medicinal, edible or practical. Our Native Mix instant hedge created a framework for the garden’s features, which form a sanctuary where creativity can thrive. We also supplied the trees for this beautiful garden. Built by Burnham Landscaping.
The Urban Pollinator Garden (Lifestyle Garden)
Silver Gilt medal winner
The garden, designed by Caitlin McLaughlin, was a magnet for bees and other insects, fusing design, function and wildlife-friendly values. After a long day at work this garden is designed to offer a place for the owners to relax, connect with nature, and surround themselves with pollinators, without the pressure of keeping bees themselves. Our Native Mix Instant Hedge helped support a range of wildlife and promote biodiversity. Built by Conway Landscapes
This garden is now rehomed at Cransley Hospice in Kettering, Northamptonshire, for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy.
Stop and Pause Garden (Lifestyle Garden)
Gold medal winner Best Lifestyle & Global Impact Garden and Best Construction Award
Designed by Dave Green, this garden is a calm, still and quiet space offering mental wellbeing and meditation opportunities. Surrounded by trees, the space has a slightly secretive quality, hiding its sense of tranquillity within. At the centre, a reflection pool, surrounded by soft woodland planting, adds to the relaxed feeling. Seating areas create places to stop, pause and reflect while enjoying the sight, sounds and smells of nature. Our Native Mix Instant Hedge is integral to the design. Built by PC Landscapes.
The garden has been donated to Solihull Hospital Charity and will be reconstructed in the hospital grounds.
Outdoor Living Garden (Lifestyle Garden)
Silver Gilt medal winner
This garden is a nod to the growing trend of outdoor living and alfresco dining, designed with a young couple in mind. Designed by Robert Grimstead, its features an almost seamless terrace within the garden and an outdoor kitchen for an alfresco dining experience, providing the ability to cook and socialise with friends. A reflective gravel pool creates a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. UK grown Purple Beech Instant Hedge provides a framework to this stylish garden. Built by Lower Barn Farm
If you would like a garden inspired by RHS Flowers Shows please contact us on 01753 652022 or email to talk to our friendly Horticultural team.
See more about these gardens on the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival web page
Congratulations to all the designers, builders and volunteers involved with these fabulous projects; see more on the BBC coverage of the RHS Hampton Court Garden festival on BBC iPlayer
RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival – The Gardens
Specimen Trees at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
There was a strong green colour scheme at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the BBC coverage showed many of the talented garden designers’ creations. Once again, Monty Don, respected gardener and broadcaster chose his favourite Trees from this year’s show.
Including the impressive resident avenue of London Plane trees, these specimen trees that stood out:
Andy Sturgeon used large Hornbeams in the woodland feature of his M & G Garden, which was inspired by nature’s power to regenerate. This Gold medal winning garden also received the Best Show Garden award.
Carpinus betulus (Common Hornbeam) is a native tree. It has bright green leaves which turn a shining yellow through to brown in the Autumn. Hornbeam often retains these brown leaves through the Winter and into the Spring.
Many large unclipped evergreens were left to their natural best in these Show Gardens:
Jo Thompson reflected 260 years of history in her Wedgwood Garden, creating an impressive architectural arched structure, and used textural and structural trees to line the boundary, including Atlas Cedar. The garden was awarded a Silver Gilt medal
The Cedrus atlantica is a fast growing tree, named after the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, from where it originates. This imperial tree can reach 30 metres in height, with branches that growing horizontally from the base of the tree all the way up to the top.
Jonathon Snow’s silver medal winning Trailfinders garden was inspired by the temperate rainforests of South America, where the Monkey puzzle is a native tree.
Araucaria Araucana (Monkey puzzle) is a stately slow growing evergreen and structural tree, well known for its distinctive long slender branches densely covered with overlapping spiking leaves.
Centre stage of Chris Beardshaw’s Morgan Stanley Garden is the Black Pine. This Gold medal winning garden is inspired by the UK’s love of beautiful gardens.
The Black, or Austrian Pine is a rich, robust evergreen tree, with deep green glossy needles and a picturesque (and usually) rounded growth habit.
Pinus nigra is excellent in exposed and coastal areas, and makes the perfect selection for wind break planting and protection from the sea.
Semi-mature trees can make a real statement in your garden; why not browse our Tree Finder or ask us about our in stock availability.
Please either fill out the contact form, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01753 652022
Practicality Brown Limited have recently acquired the commercial business of Midland Tree Surgeons Ltd, which reinforces its position as a leader in the land clearance industry.
Midlands Tree Surgeons (MTS) founded and managed for over 40 years by Robert Kennedy, until his recent retirement, has a strong reputation for professionalism and reliability in the development site clearance business, which we have every intention of continuing. We look forward to expanding our Midlands tree and vegetation clearance activities, with locally based expertise and resources.
Managing Director Alastair Beddall announcing the purchase of MTS said
“It was a perfect fit, there are many similarities in the way we manage our business and in our high customer satisfaction ratings. We have worked closely together on several large tree clearance contracts in the Midlands area and the purchase of Robert’s company made commercial sense”.
Whilst the existing MTS telephone, website and email addresses are being maintained, all new enquiries are welcome at email@example.com
Midland Office: 01295 690011 Iver | Head Office: 01753 652022 www.midlandtreesurgeons.co.uk
We operate our own compliant fleet of specialist mechanised resources including:
excavator mounted winch
heavy duty flail mower
remote control tractor mulcher
PBL’s chainsaw teams are based regionally and wood chip produced is processed at our own wood fuel hub into premium grade biomass fuel.
Top Quality Containerised Trees
Available for Planting Now
Practicality Brown’s tree nursery specialises in large trees, both evergreen and deciduous. With a combination of home grown and outsourced specimen and semi mature trees, we offer a broad range which includes many native UK species; trees that are suitable all occasions.
We have an excellent selection of beautiful trees that are available in containers and are ready to plant now, ahead of the traditional root ball season. These trees are in girth sizes 20cm to 65cm, up to 8m high.
All our acclimatised containerised stock has been carefully tended to at our nursery to ensure it is ready for delivery in perfect condition. We continually monitor conditions to ensure that trees are in the peak condition for planting, paying close attention to bio security and plant health management.
See our stock list for the trees we currently have in stock at our nursery; all are available for delivery now.
From delicate Acers (Maples), fully feathered Magnolia grandiflora to pleached Quercus palustris (Pin Oaks) and classic English Yew, there is something on the list for everyone.
The trees detailed on this list are those we currently have in stock at our nursery; the heights and girths reflect actual sizes of these individual trees. The availability can daily, so please call to confirm availability of particular stock. All prices shown are ex vat and exclude delivery, please use our enquiry form to request a detailed quotation.
A 30% discount will be applied to ex vat orders of trees worth a total of £2500 or more.
The discount applies to the tree stock value of the order only, not to delivery and planting etc.
Prices correct as at August 2017. E&OE.
We would be delighted to see you at our nursery in Iver, Buckinghamshire; please make an appointment to ensure one of our team are available to show you around. We are located near to M4, M25 and M40 junctions, about 6 miles from Heathrow Airport and 15 miles from London and just 1 mile from Iver Station, with trains from London Paddington.
We look forward to welcoming you onto our nursery soon.
Cities need to ‘green up’ to reduce the impact of air pollution
The study is a collaborative effort by partners from the UK, Europe and USA, led by the Professor Kumar under the umbrella of H2020 funded project, iSCAPE: Improving Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe.
The report findings include that the harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placing low hedges along roads in a built-up city environments. Hedges are often better than trees at soaking up air pollution among tall buildings, as they can trap toxins at exhaust pipe level, so reduce people’s direct exposure to harmful pollutants.
Professor Kumar, who is Chair in Air Quality & Health at the University of Surrey, said future urban planning need to consider designing and implementing more green infrastructure, such as trees and hedges in the built environment to create a healthier urban lifestyle.
Taller trees have more of an impact in reducing air pollution in areas which are more open and are less densely populated by taller buildings.
Professor Kumar concluded: “Under the framework of the iSCAPE project, we are currently performing targeted field investigations to quantify the effects of different types of green barriers along the busy open-road sides. This will help to develop evidence-based guidelines to support future urban planning and the public to make informed choices to “green up” their surrounding environments.”
The BBC’s environment analyst, Roger Harrabin reported on the study on the Corporation’s science news webpages.
Practicality Brown have a number of hedging solutions that will work in urban environments – call us on 01753 652022 – or complete our contact form.
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