Will Rolph

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

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Posted: 26/10/2017 | 0 comments

Who am I?

Ahh, many a day have I spent lounging around in the gorgeous sun…60 feet vertically, swinging around like Tarzan.

I am Will Rolph, Climbing Arborist, come Arboriculturist, come Arboricultural Consultant.

The joys of working in the Arboricultural industry are plentiful and rewarding.

During this blog, I shall be delving into the how, what, where and why of things, chainsaw first!!!

How did I start out?

I spent my childhood like any other kid does when they’re outside causing mischief. Climbing trees and breaking stuff, mainly bones, until in 2011 I was invited out to work with my brother, who the year before started his own tree care company.

My first day dragging brash wasn’t glamorous, however it was good fun and certainly a good introduction into what I was to study and love in the very near future!

Six months down the line I started learning the ropes (Literally not figuratively), climbing trees was just as brilliant as I remembered, except this time I was doing it safely and like a professional.

What have I achieved so far?

In September 2012, I started college, it was a level 1 woodland skills course at Sparsholt College, due to the age restrictions with using chainsaws I had to wait until I was 17 to start the practical work at college. In September 2013 I began my level 3, extended diploma in Arboriculture, a two-year course, again at Sparsholt.

However, once I began learning about trees and the wider topic, I was hooked, which was strange, especially as I had never been very academic, I felt like I had found something in which I had a genuine interest and passion.

After Sparsholt, I started searching for new chances to learn. I found an FdSc programme, but this time I found myself travelling the span of the country to Myerscough College (Southampton to Preston). Now coming to the end of my foundation degree I am still looking for more opportunities.

6 years down the road from when I first started and I am enrolled on the BSc in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, again at Myerscough, in order to finish off my degree.

It’s a top-up course, online-distance learning in order to essentially top-up my FdSc to a full on Bachelor of Science degree, with honours of course. The reason for studying online is simple, I have landed a 9-5, five days a week job, surveying street trees on behalf on Gristwood and Toms Ltd.

Perfect, best of both worlds in my view, I get to work for one of the finest companies in the U.K. doing something for which I have a passion, as well as carrying on with my studies.

What now and in the near future?

As I am a continuing student and a full-time employee, I may have my work cut out for the near future, however, in many ways it doesn’t really differ from how I have currently been managing my time. Along with university studies I have been working self-employed as a climbing arborist and trying to launch my consultancy business. Although these two factors will be put on the back burner for a few years, at least professionally, as I still very much enjoy swinging around in trees for a casual-not so casual hobby.

As well as the career side of life, I have of course got my studies to think about, and a rather long document called a dissertation ‘_’ which should all be good fun. Amongst the serious stuff I also enjoy writing factual articles for the arb mag, which is both informative and a self-teach exercise which really helps expand your knowledge and experience in writing as a professional.

My professional associations do not end there however, I am also a member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and I am completing my chartership programme in 2018 so I will also be working hard for that as well as becoming a professional member of the Arboricultural Association and I am also looking at becoming a registered consultant through the AA’s scheme.

Although I am due to have a busy few years, I am certainly looking forward to the continuity of my education and progressing with my career and my professional development in an industry which I am very passionate.

I will of course endeavour to keep you updated as I go…