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» Cutters and Climbers Competition 2010
“Don’t worry about the weather… I’ve booked two solid days of sunshine.”

It’s time again for the East of England Game Fair which means it’s also time for the Cutters and Climbers Competition. Running since 2005, the main aim of the event is to show off to Joe Public with the aim of raising the local profile of arboriculture.

As last year, the competition runs in three parts, testing climbing, spiking and chainsaw skills. The idea being that if we show people what real climbing or real chainsaw work looks like, they may think twice when the ubiquitous cowboys rock up with no PPE, no insurance and no idea. The education aspect works both ways. For the competitors and the judges the benefit is a friendly, open and cooperative environment where ideas and techniques can be shared. To help that noble aim along there’s a beer tent as well…

Created and organised by Tree Worker Training proprietor Chalky White, and ably assisted by past and present employees and students, the competition is open to qualified climbers and chainsaw operators regardless of age and gender. The competition consists of three individual events with separate and combined prizes and rankings for each. The vast majority of competitors compete in all three, with the chance to win the much coveted Most Employable Person title. Based on scores from all three events, this honour was first won by Alex Talbot of Tree Surgery Services in 2005 who is now one of our senior officials in the chainsaw arena.


The work climb is adjudicated by me, hopefully with commentary by Nick Pott of www.arbjobs.co.uk. Traditionally a head to head event, our concern over the impact of sending 40+ climbers stamping out all over our regular Oak has lead us to redesign the event for 2010. A new tree has been selected for a solo event with a variety of targets and aerial challenges – I’m determined to fit a zip-line in there somewhere! A simulated limbwalk will be set up as a separate challenge to test how far competitors can get out on an artificial branch without setting off an alarm.

Our cutting competition is organised by Andy Campbell (a top ranked competitor in the UK loggers). This competition takes the most to organise, so there is a large group of volunteers behind the scenes to help set-up and run this event smoothly. Competitors are expected to fell a standing stem, cross cut and snedding. Points will be awarded for the precision of cuts and the time taken to achieve them.

Pole Climb

Proving very successful on its first outing in 2009, the third event is our unique take on a traditional pole climb. We pit two competitors head to head up the largest poles we can transport down the road. Although these fall short of the 80ft monsters that you might find at the UK championship, they more than make up for it in speed and splinters. This event is run by Martin Platton of MDH Arb Hire Ltd.

As if this wasn’t enough, the Forestry Area has more to offer than just competitions. We have a Trade Area headed by Tree Worker Training’s sister company T.H.F. Countryside who offer forestry contracting and mobile saw milling services. Other stands include those that have been around since the first event and who deserve an honourable mention including,
  • Alderhill Ltd; Mr Chris Hall and his company demonstrating their equipment for fence erecting and tree planting, etc.
  • Rouse Power Equipment; a long term supporter, compete with a large selection of chain saws and other powered equipment on display along with anything the budding tree climber could ever want.
  • MDH Arb Hire Ltd; Martin Platton, as well as doing a sterling job of running the pole climb, has a good selection of wood chippers and stump grinders for purchase or hire.
There are other various traders and companies all based around the tree services sector. Whether you are looking for firewood, tools or services you are bound to find friendly and helpful advice in the Forestry Area of the East of England.
Oh and did I mention the Beer tent???
Tony Sorensen
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