Forestry England Case Study
Forestry England manages and cares for over 1,500 forests for the benefit of people, nature and the economy.
Through careful management it supports the natural ecosystem, the growing, shaping and caring of forests protecting diverse wildlife and enabling production of truly sustainable timber.
Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, is home to around 15,000 trees, spread across 600 acres of Cotswolds countryside.
These are cared for by a dedicated team of ten professional arborists – the Tree Team – whose responsibilities include planting, pruning and felling trees.
This often involves the use of noisy specialist equipment such as chainsaws and woodchippers.
To ensure works can be carried out both safely and efficiently, it’s important that members of Tree Team can effectively communicate.
However, a problem was identified with Westonbirt’s previous radio-set up, as Tree Operations Manager, Douglas Weale, explains.
“During a staged incident we identified that when members of the team were carrying out arboricultural work that required hearing protection, they could not pick up vital communications.”
This was because the existing two-way radio equipment lacked Bluetooth connectivity. This would have enabled the team to connect with the main radio site or with each other through helmet-to-helmet communications.
Douglas called upon Avoira’s two-way radio expertise, asking for a solution that would resolve that issue whilst also enabling communications across the wider site.
Having scoped the site and identified the specific issues that needed addressing, our specialist two-way radio team recommended deployment of Motorola MOTOTRBO R7 digital portable two-way radios.
These state-of-the-art models feature advanced audio processing to ensure crystal clear communications.
This includes impressive noise cancelling and radio feedback suppression technologies,
together with intelligent audio monitoring which automatically adjusts speaker volume in response to background noise levels.
Their rugged design also make them ideal for testing environments such as Westonbirt,
with IP66 and IP68 certification guaranteeing protection from both dust and water.
To further ensure effective communication, our specialists further specified Peltor’s WS LiteCom Plus headsets. Equipped with a waterproof microphone – again to the IP68 standard – these are also designed to overcome environmental noise, coming equipped with a noise cancelling microphone.
A push-button level dependent function also allows user to better hear ambient noise – including warning cries and vehicle reversing signals – whilst also providing hearing protection.
Our Peltor headset specification majored on the manufacturer’s headband model, but also included three hard hat versions which enable helmet-to-helmet communications.
Douglas is impressed with both the delivery and functionality of the solution, together with the support services we provide.
“Avoira’s solution has helped to improve the overall safety of the site and boosted the efficiency of the arboriculture team,” he enthuses.
The core issue of maintaining communications whilst his team undertake noisy tasks has clearly been overcome.
“Using the R7 radios with the Peltor headsets means we can now monitor radio messages when carrying out noisy tasks.” He adds
“We can also now communicate with the rest of the site and each other using the helmet to – helmet comms”.
In addition Peltor’s level-dependent function promotes spatial awareness as arborists are better able to monitor noise surrounding their work position.
He is pleased with the specialist advice we provided to deliver such an effective solution and the support t we have given – and continue to give.
“Avoira have provided fantastic customer service throughout the process,” he reports.