Roland's Journey to becoming Lantra Approved
Roland Heming Forest & Arb ltd training centre

Published on

May 20 2021

We recently caught up with Lantra Instructor, Assessor and Training Provider Roland Heming, who told us all about his journey in the world of training.

Roland has worked incredibly hard in his career starting out as a tree-surgeon to become a Lantra Approved Instructor and Training Provider. Find out how he did it in his own words below.

I first became affiliated with Lantra Awards in 2001. I was then a full-time Tree surgeon working for Tim Bendle one of our Lantra verifiers.

People cutting logs using chainsaws

Tim was a fantastic mentor and encouraged me to look at the teaching side of or work. With his and the then Royal Agricultural Colleges backing, I was sponsored to do my instructional techniques and other requirements to become a Lantra trainer.

Over the next few years, I continued to develop my skill set and was able to offer other Lantra training in the arboriculture, Forestry and small machine sector.

I eventually moved back to my home counties on the Wiltshire Dorset border where I carried on as a Freelance Instructor for Newlands Training who I have worked with and still do till this day.

In 2013 I decided to set up my own training company Roland Heming Forest & Arb ltd, not the shortest or most catchy of names, but as I'd been in the industry a while and worked at lots of shows I thought it was my best bet for being remembered.

As my business continued to grow, I always felt the need for a more permanent professional base to work from, so I started looked for a bit of land to buy. I was lucky enough to end up with 1.5 acres in Motcombe Dorset, very close to the B&B we used for our trainees.

I applied for planning permission to erect and a purpose-built classroom and workshop with onsite x-cutting, felling jigs and pole climbing facilities. 

With the Help from the Dorset leader group, we managed to get an EU grant to help cover some of the costs of construction and in February 2019 they started to build.

We opened for training later in the spring and as we continued to grow, I was keen to become a Lantra training provider, with all the benefits that offers us as.  Not only great insurances but also a huge set of skills to offer our clients, training, assessment, and refresher qualifications all accompanied by the best workbooks I have come across, with quality certification and ID cards

Jamie Whitworth has been with me full time for the past 3 years and is now a Lantra Awards Instructor and Assessor. I was hoping to put Jamie through more technical evaluations last year but Unfortunately Covid reared its ugly head in 2020 so as a lot of other trainers will know we had to scale back and ride out the storm as best we could.

On the bright side, we have a fantastic training facility, Instructor group and one of the nicest views out across Duncliffe Hill and the Blacklmore Vale, we have trained people from all over our own country and from as far afield as Brazil and our client base continues to grow with numerous local authorities, National Trust, RSPB, Natural England to name but a few.

As the world slowly returns to some sort of normality, I hope to get Jamie some more skills on his register and I'm also looking at taking on another full time Lantra Trainer.

man moving logs using machine