June 10, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
A dedicated team of arboriculture specialists from Cannon Horticulture have won responsibility for providing fast-response professional support for a vast area of countryside in Southern England including the Test Valley and the New Forest.

The new contract involves a broad range of services, ranging from emergency call-outs, storm damage, stump grinding and general tree surgery. The contract was awarded after a five month tendering process which involved rigorous inspections of Cannon’s resources, equipment and projects in progress and was jointly sponsored by Test Valley and New Forest Councils. Announcing the contract win, Ray Rushworth, managing director of Cannon Horticulture said, “Our arboriculture teams in Southern England have built an envied reputation for their professionalism and for their commitment to health and safety. This contract is well-deserved.”

Cannon faced stiff competition from a number of alternative suppliers when the two local authorities decided to dovetail their needs for specialist help into a single contract. The Test Valley is an area along the course of the River Test between Winchester, Salisbury and the New Forest. It is characterised by its highly attractive countryside which brings large quantities of visitors seeking the peace, tranquillity and natural beauty of the area. The larger scale New Forest is one of the UK’s outstanding forest areas covering 37,000 hectares. In October last year, Cannon’s arboriculture team showcased their professionalism in the forest when they were called in by Channel Four television to help clear an area of the forest along a bend of the busy A35 following high levels of deer deaths. The programme, which was broadcast nationwide, demonstrated the company’s fast response and professional approach to the difficult task of tree clearance close to fast-moving traffic.

Cannon Horticulture operates to strict environmental standards to ensure that their work causes minimal disruption to natural habitats and that all timber felled is chipped either for re-use as soil improver or mulch, or taken to Surrey Power Station for power generation. Steve Jones, Grounds Maintenance Manager for Test Valley Borough Council & New Forest District Council said, “Cannon’s focus on environmentally sound practice was a significant factor in our decision to award the contract to them and we are confident we now have a highly skilled professional team committed to proactively maintaining this important woodland and conservation resource.”

Cannon believes its adherence to strict health and safety practices was another important reason behind winning this prestigious contract. “We received an inspection visit to our Bishop’s Waltham site where we were able to demonstrate that our equipment and training protocols – regularly updated through ‘tool box talks’ - achieve best practice in our industry. We also showed that our administration procedures allow us to react promptly and accurately to customers’ needs with full accountability - an important factor for local authorities,” said Ray Rushworth.

OCS chief executive, Chris Cracknell congratulated the Cannon horticulture team, “This contract brings with it important responsibilities for the safe and effective management of trees across a large area of Britain’s natural heritage. Our team in the South of England have demonstrated commitments to service, quality, safety and environmental standards – all of which are core to our group philosophy.”