On 19 April 2016 the ICF South East England Regional Group met at the Oxford University Harcourt Arboretum for their spring event, Business as Usual: Risk management for practitioners and their business.
The morning comprised an indoor seminar session with a variety of speakers providing us with stimulating presentations on risk management in its broadest sense. Business consultant Paul Elcoat set delegates a range of challenges related to managing risk from a business and economic perspective and considered some fundamental management and operational procedures needed to mitigate such risk.
Shireen Chambers FICFor, ICF Executive Director, joined the event and along with Andy Tipping MICFor, Trees & Woodlands Manager for the London Borough of Barnet, provided an overview and update on the National Tree Safety Group publication ‘Common Sense Risk Management of Trees’ and its relevance to the practitioner.
Kevin Martin, Manager of Arboriculture, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, provided a detailed inside account of the recent high-profile tree related fatality at Kew, demonstrating how their risk management procedures stood up to rigorous scrutiny in court. Kevin summarised with some invaluable ‘lessons learnt’ and best practice guidance for delegates to consider.
Finally the host for the day Ben Jones, Curator at Harcourt Arboretum, gave an insight to risk management associated with biosecurity and the principles and practices needed when sourcing plant material from across the world.
Delegates were blessed with some warm spring sunshine for a fascinating afternoon tour of the arboretum. During an insightful guided tour, Ben and his colleagues explained some innovative management initiatives being applied to this heritage site. The discussion pursued the risk management theme and delegates were challenged to apply some of the advice from the morning’s seminars to the practical scenarios being discussed on site.