Who are you? My name is Shaun Phillips. I am a Senior Arboricultural Consultant based in our Corby office. I joined Lockhart Garratt in November 2014 having previously worked in the arboricultural industry as a tree surgeon and then in the public sector at Leicestershire County Council and Derby City Council.
What do you do? I provide professional expertise on a wide variety of arboricultural matters. A large part of my role is assisting clients with surveys, advice and reports to support planning applications. Projects I work on vary from small schemes with one or two properties up to developments providing whole housing estates with shops and schools. The other main area of my work is providing management recommendations for trees to clients, primarily to ensure that they are meeting their legal duties in managing the risk associated with trees.
What project have you found particularly interesting to be involved with? With one of my current projects, the issue is that a number of trees that were planted as part of a development, are causing damage to a paved area round them, lifting the blocks and creating trip hazards. The trees are still young but are well established, and the cost implications of felling the trees and replacing them would be significant. This would also be unlikely to provide a long-term resolution, by not addressing the underlying cause.
Therefore, we are going to undertake site investigations to establish why the roots are spreading just below the paving and causing the damage. The suspicion is that poor ground conditions and planting practices have contributed to the problem. Once it is established that these are the issues, the potential solution being explored is to retro fit a modular suspended pavement system around the trees. This will achieve improved growing conditions for the tree roots to utilise, provide a long-term resolution to the damage, whilst retaining the trees, and saving the cost of removing and replacing them. In addition, it will also provide assistance with rainwater management and contribute towards a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS).
What has been your favourite Lockhart Garratt moment to date? I have had many great experiences during my time at Lockhart Garratt, in particular the Christmas Parties. I unfortunately missed the last one though, due to a trip over the pond to visit the Big Apple. However, my favourite moment so far, was when we had a company weekend away to Wales. The highlight of which for me was a visit to Bounce Below, which is an old slate mine that has been fitted with large trampoline nets, slides and chutes. It also was a great opportunity to get to know people that you do not always get a chance to spend time with at the office. It was a fun weekend but also provided a great team bonding experience. In addition, there was some fantastic scenery to enjoy, and the monthly company photo competition has never been so hotly contended.
What are your interests and hobbies? I have a varied range of interests and hobbies, but most of them include the outdoors or sports. My main sport though is hockey, which I have played for many years and currently play for Boots Hockey Club in Nottingham. I have made numerous friends through playing, many of which are from other countries, whom I have met whilst playing at a hockey festival held in Antibes, France for the past few years. I also enjoy spending time socialising with them most weekends, after a match. In addition, I like many other sports including squash, cycling, walking, rock climbing, canoeing, as well as skiing, snowboarding and I am looking forward to hitting the slopes in a couple of weeks.