We have recently been involved in an ambitious tree translocation project in Alconbury, Cambridgeshire, which involved the use of two of the largest tree spades in Europe.
Working for Urban and Civic plc on their large, mixed use scheme at the former airbase near Huntingdon, tree spades of 2.5m and 3m in diameter were employed to lift and transplant established, mature trees up to 15m tall. These trees would otherwise have been lost during the construction of the project which includes new housing, a school, green spaces and a business sector.
Owing to the site’s previous use as a former US Air Force Base, flying Liberators and B-17’s in raids against Germany in the Second World War, all trees identified for translocation and their new tree pits had to be scanned for unexploded ordnance. Originally in use by Bomber Command from 1939, and then the USAF, Alconbury Airfield was also instrumental during the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm. Flying finally ceased on March 31st, 1995.