Project Background

Wellington College, set in the heartlands of Berkshire, boasts over 160 hectares of freehold land, with only 32 hectares used for playing fields; the vast majority of its grounds are parkland and natural woodland. The estate includes four lakes, an area of wetland and thousands of mature trees.


The challenge for ADAS was to reduce long term tree management costs for Wellington College whilst ensuring that the safety of students, staff and visitors would not be compromised. Historically, the college commissioned tree surveys that were overly detailed, costly and not focused on estate usage levels

Following an initial evaluation of the College’s substantial tree stock and management strategy, ADAS quickly determined that Wellington College would benefit from the implementation of a formal tree risk management system and policy.

Firstly an assessment of the usage levels on the estate was carried out followed by an expert survey of the entire tree stock. These two elements were then combined to develop a bespoke tree management strategy for Wellington College that reduced costs, ensured that the college satisfied their duty of care under Health and Safety law and most importantly made sure students, staff and visitors remained safe.


ADAS worked with Wellington College to determine usage levels of the whole estate. Three zones were identified; zone 1 being high use, zone 2 medium use and zone 3 low use, this zoning determines the frequency and level of future tree surveys. High usage areas include common routes through the schools that are regularly used by pupils and staff.

ADAS’s report showed that the college needed to check these trees every year and for zone 2, medium usage areas, the college needed to check trees every three years. Basic surveys can be carried out by clients with general knowledge of tree hazard assessment so ADAS trained Wellington College estate staff enabling them to carry out the majority of future tree surveys.

Some expert surveys are still required by Wellington College but their frequency, and subsequent cost, is considerably reduced due to the ADAS methodology. Following the survey, ADAS produced a tree risk management policy tailored specifically to Wellington College which clearly outlined all future tree management activity.


By producing a policy for the management of Wellington College trees and training the grounds staff to carry out the bulk of the survey work, ADAS was able to significantly reduce the cost of tree management, whilst complying with legal requirements.

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