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Native Woodland Survey of Scotland

Client: Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS)
Duration: April 2011 - December 2012
Areas of survey: Inverness; Moray and Elgin; East and West Cairngorms; Perthshire and Fife; East Borders; West Borders; South Lanarkshire; Dumfries
Project manager: Gordon Haycock
Survey team: Eight surveyors and one full-time sub-contractor
Outputs Delivered: 95,640ha of woodland survey (956.4kmē)

Surveying using Toughbook field computers

Survey for this large scale project followed the Native Woodland Survey Scotland protocol designed by FCS, with data recorded directly onto Toughbook field computers. On being awarded the contract, Gordon worked with FCS to train the survey team so that they all passed the qualifying competence assessment.

To achieve the required on-going high quality, consistency and productivity of results, Gordon monitored and mentored each surveyor closely. He also liaised regularly with the FCS QA and Performance Officer to ensure that their queries were addressed promptly and effectively.

With surveyors working throughout the country, thorough operational organisation was key and Gordon worked hard to ensure surveyors were in the right place with the right equipment at the right time. Gordon's role also involved managing challenges such as extreme weather, so that disruption to the survey programme was minimised whilst ensuring that all surveyors were safe. Gordon also supported and motivated each surveyor, so that the team was productive and happy.

Survey continued throughout winter 2011/2012 and with surveyors lone working in remote places, it was essential that risks were assessed and appropriately managed. Surveyors followed regularly reviewed risk assessments, as well as continually assessing the level of risk using a dynamic risk assessment approach. Each surveyor adhered to our rigorous Lone Working Procedure, and all were trained in Emergency First Aid.

Effective recruitment and Gordon's rigorous management approach ensured a highly competent and productive team, which consistently delivered high quality results. We exceeded our delivery targets every month.

The project team, clockwise from the top left: Claire Troup, Anthony Taylor-Pigott, Jean Frame, Trevor Hall, Steve Heaton, Rory McLeod, Ellie Rickman, Graeme Guy, Sylvia Jay, Gordon Haycock

The Project Team