Autumn Review 2017/2018

A year in the life of the
Arboricultural Association

2018 in Summary

  • Work on the new Technical Guides gathers momentum, with the project due to draw to a close in 2019.
  • Jet-setting Technical Team – Work continued on the new VETCert qualifications as Simon and Jim travel across Europe developing the credentials.
  • Launch of free student membership increases student membership by 330 members in nine months!
  • The AA participates in the first scoping report of the size and value of the UK horticultural industry – 20,900 workers within arboriculture, generating £709 million in contribution to the UK GDP in 2017.
  • The All Party Parliamentary Group launches report after three evidence sessions in Houses of Parliament, setting out the industry’s key requirements of the Government post-Brexit.
  • The Association continues to put pressure on the UK Government to recognise the value of our amenity trees at events throughout the year, including presentations at the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows.
  • Twenty-two new ARB Approved Contractors in 2018, with the total number of ArbACs nearing 300 across the UK and Ireland!
  • Utility Approved Contractor Scheme formally launched with support across the utility industry with three contractors approved already and several more in assessment!
  • The AA recognised the loss, and celebrated the work, of key industry figures such as Rodney Helliwell and Bill Matthews, who amongst others, sadly passed away in 2018.
  • 10 branches held events throughout 2018 with over 400 attendees.
  • 618 new members joined the Association
  • The Association held over 100 Training Courses across the UK and Ireland

End of 2017

In late 2017 the excellent ‘Talking Trees’ video series launched, with series 2 set to launch in Autumn 2018.


ISA Certified Arborist Training Programme launched.

Aspiring Registered Consultants Day, offering consultants support and guidance on taking the next step.


Our annual #ARBatWork photo contest drew record numbers of submissions with over 300 incredible photos received.

Recording breaking attendance at the ARB Show with over 8,000 visitors over two days – an increase of 22%.


The AA ran their first ISA TRAQ course, bringing this credential to the UK arboricultural industry.

New Chair for the Arborists Working Group as Navin Sehmi is elected to lead this key group.

The inaugural meeting of the Women in Arboriculture Working Group draws enthusiastic participation from women in all sectors of the industry.

Annual Branching Out meeting drew branch representatives together from across the UK and Ireland to increase member opportunities locally.


The two-day Hollow Tree event in Windsor, attracted huge numbers of attendees with 94 attendees on Day 2 alone!


The new ‘Application of Biosecurity in Arboriculture’ Guidance Note 2 is published, delivering one of the key tasks of DEFRA’s ‘Tree Health Resilience Strategy’ which called for practical guidance to raise biosecurity standards in the industry.

The AA’s Amenity Conference in partnership with the Sustainable Soils Alliance sees record breaking attendance with over 400 delegates from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

Jaime Bray appointed as AA Chairman, supported by Ian Murat as Vice Chair, as Keith Sacre finishes his very successful term. The Board welcomes Jenny Long and Michelle Ryan as new trustees.


The UKs first Arboricultural Student Conference is launched with hundreds of students enjoying 2 days of free CPD at Merrist Wood College.

2017 in Summary

In 2017 we held more than 100 training events across the country; including the return of the ever-popular Forks workshops and the launch of the new Tree Risk – What’s the Likelihood of Failure workshop.

We welcomed around 387 new members, 27 new ARB Approved Contractors, two new AA Registered Consultants, and one new Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv).

We are regularly contacted for comment by local and national radio, demonstrating our increased reach.

Our Branch Network was strengthened, with branches offering more opportunities and support for regional members. Mirroring this growth, our relationships with sister organisations, such as the ISA and Society for the Environment, have opened new avenues for professional development.

We received support for our biosecurity initiatives across the board, with video presentations produced by key industry figures and to be made freely available.

This fantastic momentum continued in 2018 and our members reflected well on the work achieved by their association, their fellow members and all our supporters; and they can be proud to say ‘I am a member of the Arboricultural Association’.



Qualified member logos released.

Sheffield Street trees feature on the BBC’s The One Show.

New technical guides work kicked off.


AA calls for calm and respect for contractors in Sheffield.

#ArbatWork Photo contest winner announced.


AA launches industry Health and Safety Review following the deaths of two arborists within a year…

Branching Out meeting heralds increased branch collaboration.


The Arboricultural Association reaffirms its commitment to the Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) certification, renewing its licensed body agreement with the Society for the Environment.


Westonbirt hosts the AA’s biggest ever ARB Show, with 6,834 visitors.

3ATC says farewell to Nick Pott.

Arb students head to Chelsea Flower Show to represent the industry.


Affiliate Contractor membership grade launched to offer support to contractors working towards ARB Approved Contractor Status.


New Utility Approved Contractor Scheme trial begins, aiming to recognise and raise standards within the utility arboriculture sector.

The Association presents to the APPGHG parliamentary representatives on the threats to the UKs trees.

Tree Officer survey results published and the Arboricultural Association starts planning their increased campaign to support Tree Officers across the UK.


Our Arb Magazine gets a fresh new look and goes online too!


HRH Prince Charles gives opening address as the Arboricultural Association hosts the world’s first conference on arboricultural biosecurity. Held at the University of Exeter, the conference attracted global speakers and over four hundred delegates over three days.

The Association hosts the UK & Ireland Open Tree Climbing Championships (under ISA rules) for the first time.

Association membership reaches all-time high with over 3% growth in the first 9 months of 2017.