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RFS - Lockhart-Garratt Trophy

The ABC Level 6 Diploma is widely considered the toughest qualification for arboriculture. The RFS / Lockhart Garratt award for excellence is made annually to a student demonstrating excellence.

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Wayne Isaacson, left, receives the RFS/Lockhart Garrett Trophy from  Nick Bolton 

2016 Award

A tree consultant on the Isle of Wight, Wayne Isaacson, was awarded the trophy after completing the Diploma in the prescribed two-year time scale despite having to make 25 return journeys on a ferry through two winters to get to his centre of study at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire.

RFS Chair Ian Dudley said: “The RFS has enjoyed a strong connection with arboriculture since the inception of the organisation in 1882 when it was originally known as The English Arboricultural Society. 134 years later the RFS is delighted to continue this strong connection by recognising Wayne Isaacson's fantastic achievement as the best student in the Level 6 Diploma in Arboriculture.“

Wayne was inspired to work with trees after a friend, who owned a firewood business, introduced him to tree felling. He later worked for a local contractor as a tree surgeon and then set up what is now Wayne Isaacson Tree Consultancy Ltd. Studying in his spare time, Wayne gained the respected RFS Certificate in Arboriculture and the Arboricultural Associations’ Technician’s Certificate.

Wayne said: “Achieving the Level Six Diploma in Arboriculture involved an immense amount of work, but I furthered my knowledge about trees, everything from tree biology to tree management at a strategic level. Having this qualification means that I can provide superior advice.”

Presenting Wayne with his award, Lockhart Garratt's Nick Bolton said: "In his current role Wayne provides advice about trees and related issues, including planning applications, Tree Preservation Orders and tree management. Wayne also represents clients at planning appeals in connection with trees; and is an external consultant to Hampshire County Council Highways advising on tree safety."

His tutor Dave Dowson commented: "This is a degree equivalent qualification where professional competence at 100% is required in order to gain a pass in a very wide arboricultural syllabus thereby demonstrating great individual and academic achievement.   The overall commitment shown by Wayne makes him an exceptional student and a very worthy recipient of this year’s award."


 2015 Award

A Landscape Architect and Tree Officer with Carlisle City Council, Charles Bennett, has won this year's Royal Forestry Society/Lockhart Garratt Award after excelling in the Dip Arb Level 6 (ABC)

Charles, who has been in his current role for ten years, said: " The course was excellent in acting as

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Charles Bennett, centre, receives his award from John Lockhart and Sophie Churchill OBE

a mirror on yourself - it soon identified weaknesses, even in areas where you thought you were sound, and really made you focus on best practice. This is the top award for anyone working in arboriculture, and I was delighted to receive the award."

He achieved the award through distance learning with Tree Life. Nominating him, Dave Dowson said: "Charles has produced some exceptional assignments that reflect real work situations and that promote the arboriculture profession."

The award was presented to Charles by RFS President Sophie Churchill OBE who said: "It is always inspiring to meet people like Charles who have pursued their professional development alongside their working lives. The Royal Forestry Society is a learned and also learning society and we are pleased to recognise leaders amongst the many people equipping themselves better to protect, manage and improve our trees and woodlands."

And by John Lockhart  of Lockhart Garratt who said: “Lockhart Garratt has been delighted to be able to partner the Royal Forestry Society in supporting this highly prestigious award for the last nine years.  It is inspiring to witness the dedication and professionalism of Charles and all of those who have achieved this award.  They help to raise the profile and importance of the profession generally and highlight the critical importance of trees in all of our daily lives.”

More on RFS Awards here