ACS Consulting provides specialist arboricultural advice utilising the very latest in arboricultural technology for the production of high quality, site-specific design solutions for Volume House Builders, Housing Associations, Developers, Planners, Architects, Surveyors, Telecoms Providers, Landscape Architects, Solicitors, Structural Engineers and Insurance Companies in addition to Private Individuals and Land Owners. We operate throughout Great Britain with offices in Manchester and Glasgow.


We are a long-established arboricultural consultancy with an experienced, well qualified team, able to draw upon over 20 years of top level experience in the field. We provide the highest quality of service, from the initial free consultation to completion of work.

Our services include: Trees and Development, Trees and Safety, TPO and Conservation Areas, Planning Appeals, Woodland Ecology Surveys, Native Woodland Planting Schemes and more.


ACS Consulting offers a full and comprehensive consultancy service encompassing everything from initial site visits and desktop studies, literature studies to Planning Appeals and lectures to interested groups. With ACS you can tap into a wealth of knowledge, sound advice and unrivalled expertise tailored to your specific requirements.

We provide a full range of arboricultural services at competitive and realistic prices without compromising quality or service.


Since the company's formation our advice to clients has sought to:

» Provide independent tree related planning expertise whilst working flexibly with other related professionals.
» Provide practical straightforward advice based on a clear understanding of the issues.
» Identify the strengths and weaknesses of development proposals, setting out a realistic view of the outcome and providing the basis for clients to make informed decisions.

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ACS can advise at all the key stages of any project to inform and influence decisions on development proposals. Experience indicates that early involvement in a project is often the most cost-effective way of achieving the client's objectives.

Client's interests are represented through carefully argued, suitably illustrated, written analysis and oral presentation.


Our team is a group of very experienced specialist consultants, who provide practical solutions with a strong commercial awareness. The technical capability within the professional team together with the breadth and depth of practical experience has produced considerable success in achieving clients' requirements.

We offer a service providing highly focused advice tailored to achieving client needs.


Our clients include major volume house builders, nationally recognised planning practices, award winning architects and landscape architects, central and local government, major infrastructure providers and large land owners.


Our planning team is a group of very experienced specialist consultants, who provide practical solutions with a strong commercial awareness. We offer a service providing highly focused advice tailored to achieving client needs.

ACS provides high quality, site-specific design solutions for new and existing developments on sensitive urban & rural sites leading to results, which enhance clients' environmental reputations.

ACS provides cost-effective, practical advice on tree related planning matters. The technical capability within the professional team together with the breadth and depth of practical experience has produced considerable success in achieving clients' requirements.

In assessing development potential or advising on a development proposal A.C.S.'s range of services include:

» Preliminary site appraisals and constraints advice to BS5837:2012.
» Technical analysis of the planning issues in connection with the development proposals, such as shadow cast by trees, driveways, services, trees and bats. Advice & Method Statements of Implementation for special engineering features i.e. roads and utility services around tree root systems.
» Preparation of planning briefs to guide the development of sites.
» Project co-ordination including the instruction of sub consultants and contractors.
» Provision of expert evidence at public inquiries. Appeals are pursued by written procedure, supported by carefully researched but succinct statement of a client's case.
» Hedgerow surveys - Certain hedgerows are protected under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 and so surveys are often required to identify if particular hedgerows qualify as 'important' (and so protected) under the Regulations particularly in respect of development. We are able to provide surveys and management plans for hedgerows.



ACS are experts in tree hazard evaluation and general tree management. Assessing the general health of trees and the potential to create a liability to third parties, on behalf of property/land owners. Reporting on trees for insurers and solicitors where trees have created a liability. Expert Witness testimony as required. Aerial inspection of the canopy of the tree undertaken.


Veteran trees with their abundance of habitats for insects, plants, and animal species are particularly vulnerable to environmental change. ACS have significant experience at carrying out veteran tree surveys and producing detailed management plans for individual trees as well as larger groups.


Parkland and wood-pasture is a priority habitat for conservation under the UKBAP and many of the larger areas of wood-pasture and parkland are designated nature conservation sites due to their significance for invertebrates, lichens and other dependent wildlife.

We have extensive experience in surveying sites such as these and producing long-term management plans.

Advice includes:

  • » Woodland and arboreta design management plans and proposals.
  • » Woodland vegetation and land use surveys.
  • » Visitor management advice, habitat development and enhancement, native woodland creation.
  • » Tree Hazard Evaluation and management proposals.
  • » Assistance with WGS applications.
  • » Assistance with Environmental Impact Assessments for new sites.
  • » Fallen dead wood volume estimates.
  • » Ecological Site Classification (ESC) and native woodland planting schemes.


Trees and Bats

All bat species in Britain are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 through inclusion in Schedule 5. They are also protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 (which were issued under the European Communities Act 1972), through inclusion in Schedule 2. On 1st April 2010, these Regulations, together with subsequent amendments, were consolidated into the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

ACS has significant experience in identifying the roost potential of trees including the use of endoscopes and climbing inspections as well as emergence surveys for development and general tree management

Trees and the Law

Conflicts often arise involving trees. ACS Consulting is well versed at dealing with all aspects of legal issues relating to trees including:

All aspects of planning (applications, appeals, TPO, Conservation Areas), subsidence, tree failure, work standards, planting scheme failures, boundary dispute and personal accident caused by trees i.e. tripping.


Our project based subsidence service is simple, fast and comprehensive. It provides a cost effective approach to the subsidence claim from diagnosis of cause through to the arrangement of remedial works.

  • » Reporting to insurers, structural engineers and loss adjusters on trees alleged to have caused subsidence to property.
  • » Sub-soil sampling to assess soil moisture deficits suspected to have been caused by trees (if required).
  • » Assessing the influence of trees on low-rise buildings.
  • » Third party tree claims. Expert Witness testimony as required.
  • » Vegetation management strategies.
  • » Planning Department enquiries/negotiations into statutory protection on trees.


ACS Consulting were instructed by an International Quarry Products company to undertake an arboricultural survey to inform on the future management of the parkland trees at Norton Conyers, Ripon, North Yorkshire.

Norton Conyers is a late medieval manor house with Stuart and Georgian additions. The site consists of the Grade II Registered Park and Garden of Norton Conyers House. The tree survey encompassed an area of parkland/pasture, an arable field and blocks of woodland located to the south and south west of the main house in the flood plain of the River Ure. The parkland is currently used as grazing for sheep and cattle and benefits from a lack of public access.

The survey identified approximately two-hundred and sixty trees of which a small number were identified as veteran trees and a number of others as verging on veteran status. Of particular note was a walnut.

The trees at Norton Conyers have historic interest as part of the landscape giving the surrounding landscape definition and maturity as well as enhancing the setting of the hall. As part of the assessment, a Phase 1 Bat Survey was undertaken. Overall, our assessment found the trees to have good bat potential. Veteran trees in general provide important habitats for bats throughout the year. With a number of veteran trees as well as blocks of woodland the opportunities for bats are high. Our assessment concluded the trees at the site are clearly a principal component of the whole estate enhancing and giving scale and maturity as principle landscape features.


ACS's Manchester office provided consultancy services in accordance with BS 5837:2012 to the country' leading volume house builder at the famous Fodens Truck Factory, Sandbach

Foden Trucks was started by Edwin Foden in 1856. It produced massive industrial engines, small stationary steam engines and agricultural traction engines. In the 1970s Fodens built a massive new factory on a green field site, adjacent to the Foden works. The last Foden was produced in July 2006. The now derelict site has planning permission for a large number of residential properties and associated infrastructure.


ACS's Glasgow office provided consultancy services in accordance with BS 5837:2012 for the redevelopment of Lismore School with the Sea View Respite Centre.

The £2.438m centre, which will be built on part of the former Lismore Primary School site, will provide regular short breaks for young people aged from 5-17 years olds as well as an outreach care at home service. Seaview will cater for up to 60 children and their families, and will provide a living and sleeping area and specially designed sensory garden. The new centre will replace the Seaview Children's Respite Centre in Portobello which has reached the end of its useful life. The building will have more space, better access, better facilities both indoors and out and, importantly, a level surface where wasn't one before.


ACS's Manchester office provided consultancy services in accordance with BS 5837:2012 for the third phase of the Crewe to Nantwich greenway providing the final phase of the greenway passing along open fields and tree lined footpaths of the Cheshire Plain.

The Greenway will create a 4km rural corridor between the two towns, alongside the A530 Middlewich Road. It will be set well back from the main road connecting the excellent riverside walks in Nantwich with Crewe's historic Queens Park, which is undergoing massive restoration.

The Greenway is aiming to increase the amount of people walking and cycling in south Cheshire by offering them a traffic-free way of getting between the two towns, linking to shops, schools and major employment areas within Cheshire East. This will bring health as well as environmental benefits.

The Greenway will become a new addition to the 13,000 miles of Sustrans' National Cycle Network [NCN]. It is part of Sustrans' Connect2, which is developing new walking and cycling routes across the UK, allowing more people to access the NCN for everyday travel. More than 70 million commuting journeys were made on the NCN in 2010.


During December 2010 acs undertook a detailed assessment, on behalf of a multi-dispensary consultancy, of trees within Alexandra Park as part of a Heritage Lottery bid. Trees were surveyed in detail including a Phase 1 Bat Survey.

Alexandra Park, Manchester, was designed in 1869 by Alexander Hennell and was opened to the public on August 6th 1870, having been purchased by the Manchester Corporation from Lord Egerton for £24,000 in 1864. Hennell's design was experimental in its use of oval shaped and curved pathways, which contrasted with the more rigid geometry seen previously in Victorian landscapes.

At its opening, this Victorian park was ahead of its time in fusing both sports facilities and ornamental features within one site. Its most prominent feature was a Serpentine Lake, on which skating was allowed during the winter, an activity which attracted large numbers of people into the park.

The bid submitted to the Heritage Lottery Parks for People fund at the end of August was successful.

The £2.2 million from the HLF will be matched by funding from the Council creating a project that will bring major physical improvements to the Park alongside a programme of community activities.


ACS undertook a survey of trees at Swarthmoor Hall including the dating of a number of yew trees, placing them in a historical context with the Hall and grounds. Swarthmoor Hall was built around 1586, set in 100 acres of organic farmland it is a historic country house which has special significance for Quakers. It is known as the 'Cradle of Quakerism' because in the mid-17th Century it was the home of Judge Thomas Fell and his wife Margaret who provided protection and hospitality for early Friends and allowed the Hall to be the principal headquarters for the movement. The Hall is situated in beautiful rolling countryside and is within a few minutes of the Lake District National Park.


ACS Consulting have been proud to play a small role in assisting Edwards Property Management attaining the goal of seeing the Grade 1 Listed Building restored to its former glory.

The castle was constructed between 1819 – 1822 for Lloyd Bamford Hesketh who had a strong influence on the design executed by a Thomas Rickman . Occupying a commanding and prominent position on the North Wales Coast. Gwrych Castle comprises a Grade I listed Georgian castellated mansion in a picturesque gothic style consisting of the house itself surrounded by some 18 round and square towers, bastions and curtain walls enclosing former gardens, terraces, a courtyard, roads and pathways.

The property is regarded as a inspirational example of Georgian picturesque Gothic and its Grading I listing on the statutory list of outstanding buildings of architectural and historic interest places it in the top 4% of historic buildings in the United Kingdom. The castle has far reaching sea and coastal views set within parkland comprising in excess of 40 acres of immediate grounds together with a further 150 acres (or thereabouts) of grade II registered woodland containing the second largest colony of Horseshoe Bats in Wales.

Since 1989 successive owners have sought to develop a five star hotel. In 2010 the property was purchased by Edwards Property Management who are continuing the vision for conversion into a five star hotel.

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If you're interested in finding out more about how we can help you please get in touch today. We'll get back to you soon.

Head Office:
Suite 1, 9 - 11 Princess Street
Knutsford, WA16 6BY
Tel: 01565 755422 (TPS)

Scotland Office:
272 Bath Street
Glasgow, G2 4JR
Tel: 0141 354 1633

Ian Murat
M.Sc, F.Arbor.A, CEnv, MCIEEM & Registered
Consultant of the Arboricultural Association.

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