The 11th Arborists’ Trade Fair has been heralded a success by all, with
positive visitor numbers and strong sales reported by exhibitors at the show.
Organisers of the event, the Arboricultural Association reported the second highest
visitor numbers ever and in spite of the tough economic climate,
exhibitor numbers were equally positive – giving visitors plenty to see, learn,
try and buy.
Held at the impressive Bathurst Estate in Cirencester, the 11th Arborists’Trade Fair basked in beautiful sunshine for much of its two days. A torrential downpour early on the first day failed to dampen anyone’s spirits; indeed a warm and positive
atmosphere pervaded the event, with many exhibitors reporting hot sales. Visitor numbers at just over 2,000 were the second highest ever and some 13% more
than recorded last year. And over 80 exhibitors ensured there was plenty to see: “Given the current economic climate, I think this is absolutely fantastic”, said Nick Eden, Director of the Arboricultural Association.
Ensuring a valuable day for visitors, the Association put together a full programme of events and demonstrations, and the STHL-sponsored Contractors’ Workshop for example, saw a busy flow of visitors attending presentations ranging from the management of a rigging operation, through European rope splicing standards, to an open Q&A session on the Arboricultural Association’s own Approved Contractor Scheme.
In addition to Contractors’ Workshop presentations, main sponsor of the Trade Fair,
STIHL, supported a series of practical demonstrations by the Treevolution team, and
once again these proved a very popular attraction. Demonstrations included an
interesting and thought-provoking session on aerial rescue, with a practising paramedic
advising how arborists and emergency services can best work together in an emergency
Other active highlights of the show included the Arboricultural Association Arborist Team
Challenge, or 3ATC, where competitors tackled a series of seven arb-related tasks from
the physical log shift and snedding events, to knowledge-based tests including a fungi
identification and site safety inspection. Hosted by UK jobs website, arbjobs.com, the
challenge welcomed two special competitors on Friday, when Rory McGrath and Paddy
McGuinness attempted to beat each other in a competitive tree climb. Having received
only a few hours’ training from 2008 Ladies World Champion, Josephine Hedger, they
both successfully completed a very small work climb. Their attempt was filmed for the
next series of “Rory and Paddy’s Great British Adventure”, which is likely to be aired on
Channel 5 sometime in November.
Also on the showground, the Tree Climbers’ Forum was another popular stop for visitors
who made the most of the chance for hands-on evaluation of the latest equipment and
PPE. Anyone undertaking tree work near to a construction site will have benefited from
the construction site and its display of root protection area fencing and demonstrations
of air spade and moling techniques, along with its introduction to tree surveying. In
fact, the presentations typified the extra value and benefits visitors gained from a day at
the Arborists’ Trade Fair.
Commenting after a busy show, Director of the Arboricultural Association, Nick Eden,
said: “We have received very positive feedback from visitors, and thanks from
exhibitors attending the event, and are delighted that the Arborists’ Trade Fair is so
clearly living up to its promise as “The” practical event of the arborists’ calendar. On
behalf of the Association, I would in turn like to thank all visitors, exhibitors and our
valued sponsors for ensuring the continuing success of the show. We look forward to
seeing both old and new friends again next year.”