Elite arboriculture candidates earn professional diploma

Five candidates have been awarded the Royal Forestry Society's arboriculture diploma.

The Professional Diploma in Arboriculture (PDArb) is administered by ABC Awards in association with the Royal Forestry Society (RFS).

The final, stringent, management exercises were held at Westonbirt Arboretum in autumn, when 14 candidates took part.

Five successfully completed all the sections.

 The successful candidates were:

  • Mark Ashman from Pickwell near Melton Mowbray, who runs contracting and consulting firm Hill-fort Tree Care and Consultancy.
  • Darren Blunt, a self employed arborist/horticulturalist based in Chelmsford, Essex, who is also involved with delivering Lantra Awards Tree Inspection Courses, report writing and is an RFS certificate examiner for ABC Awards.
  • Sarah Duckworth from Wokingham, who is a tree and landscape officer at Wokingham Borough Council.
  • Portia Howe from Lichfield, who is an arboricultural officer at Lichfield District Council.
  • Alannah Matheson, an arborist from Dublin, who is currently travelling around Australia and New Zealand.

RFS chief executive John Jackson said: "The PDArb is held in high esteem throughout the UK, Ireland and the near continent.

"Standards are set deliberately high and all those who pass have shown exceptional abilities.

"We hope that those candidates who just failed to achieve the qualification will be back to try again in 2010 along with others who are striving to demonstrate that they too are among the best in the industry."



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