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Our Team

Matthew Middle

What made you choose Arbtech?

I first heard about Arbtech when I received a call from a recruitment consultant explaining that his client had seen my CV and was very keen to speak with me.

At this time – back in May/June 2011 – I was self-employed, working a mixture of roles between being back on the tools (arb, forestry, landscaping, building) and surveying/consulting for myself and friends.

Within about 24 hours of speaking with the recruitment consultant, I had several calls with Rob about the possibility of coming to work for him at Arbtech.

I was slightly uneasy about it to start with, as I was completely disillusioned with the whole arboricultural consultancy industry after being made redundant twice within a two-year period. Despite that, I agreed to meet with Rob at Kings Cross St. Pancras Station in London for a coffee and a chat.

That was that and within a few minutes of meeting with Rob, it was clear that any doubts I had were completely unwarranted, and as soon as he offered me a role at Arbtech, I jumped on board straight away.

What do you love most about the company?

Well, this is a difficult one, as there are so many positive things about being a part of Arbtech.

The obvious ones are:

  • Management of my own diary.
  • No time sheets…EVER.
  • Fully autonomous home working.
  • Company socials (lots of them and all fully paid for).

But honestly, it is the people I work with on a day-to-day basis that I love the most. Yes, we are not all sat in the same office, but we are still all very close and will help each other out. Not only that, but I’d go as far as saying that I am able to class most – if not all – of them as friends.

What do you do when you are not at Arbtech?

When I am not working, I enjoy my downtime, chilling with family and friends, be that just popping in for a coffee, going for a few drinks or a meal, watching a movie, or helping out or being helped out doing stuff at our homes.

I also enjoy being active when and where I can, in the form of going for a drive, a walk, out on my mountain bike, shooting clays, watching football and motorsport (primarily motorbikes), going camping, or practising Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

A martial art I recently started, I originally tried out BJJ as a way of getting an idea of what’s involved in our company social in Austria, where we enjoyed a week of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, snowboarding/skiing and socialising.

The only problem with trying this form of martial art is that it is very addictive and I have now been attending classes at my local club between three and five times a week since late July 2022. Since then, I have received my first stripe, and I am now looking to the future and working towards gaining my blue belt.

What is your biggest tip to achieve the most in life?

Hard work and a positive attitude.

You can and are capable of achieving more than you think.

If there is something you want, start working towards it, and just keep believing that you will one day get there.

Just ignore what everyone else is doing and achieving. Do not disrespect them or their achievements, but do not be disheartened by what they have achieved and the time frame it has taken them to get there; we are all different and achieve what we need to in our own time frame.

What is the best social you’ve been on at Arbtech?

This is another difficult question as, having been at Arbtech for almost 12 years now, I have been on a lot of socials, including meals and drinks, sessions at climbing centres, activity days (driving, riding, shooting, archery, etc), spa days, track days, weekends away (Norfolk), and European trips (Prague, Madrid & Austria).

All of these socials have been amazing and created very different memories, so I do not think I can limit this to just one social.

But my top two have to be (in chronological order):

  1. Driving Porsche 911s (992 Turbo S and Carrara 4s) around the Porsche test track at Silverstone.
  2. European travel (I cannot split these destinations/trips up, as they were all equally amazing for such different reasons).

But if what Rob has been teasing us with comes off, it will 100% be fighting for the number one spot!

Where do you want to travel to next?

My next (planned) destination is Cypress this June. My fiancée and I have booked a garden apartment at a five-star adult-only hotel for 10 nights. There will be lots of water sports and trips out, but also plenty of downtimes to chill out and recharge.

After that, I am not sure, as the next big one will be our honeymoon. We have so far mentioned some amazing places such as Hawaii, but we are lucky enough to have a friend and friends of friends who are in the travel business (not to mention a boss who is an avid traveller) – all of whom, we will be speaking with to get some recommendations from.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I am getting married next year – in May 2024 – so I would imagine/hope that within a year or two of that, I will be a parent.
With regards to everything else, I am quite relaxed.

Of course, I have ambitions to excel in my career and climb as high as I possibly can. That said, over the last few years, I have put hitting my targets (both professional and personal) above ‘me’, so I need to learn when enough is enough. Rather than just pushing through and keeping on going, I need to learn to take some time out and reset for the sake of my mind and body.

What is a goal you have for the future, in or out of work?

I have a few goals, including getting married, becoming a parent, gaining my blue belt in BJJ, and generally getting fitter.

After that, my priorities are to keep working on/at ‘me’, what I am doing, the next steps involved in all of that (parenthood, purple belt and onwards), and having more ‘me’ and family time.

Workwise, let’s see where Arbtech takes me as, in my time at the company, I have seen it grow from a handful of us to what it is now.

I am extremely proud of the part I have played in what Arbtech has become and hope to continue to be an essential part of any and all future growth.

Matt joined Arbtech in August 2011.

Robert Oates, managing director says:

Like many here, I interviewed Matt over a coffee at King Cross St Pancras Station. Within minutes of sitting down, it was obvious he was a guy of integrity and humour. Those qualities are number one and two on our list, so coupled with the fact he is expert on matters of BS5837 and planning made picking him for the team a quick decision. Matt is great if you have complex issues that relate to trees; such building in or near root protection areas, or mortgage approval for sites with large trees in proximity to the property/asset against which your mortgage is secured.

Job Title

Principal Arboriculturist & BS5837 Lead

Qualifications

  • Arboriculture, Plumpton Agricultural College
  • Forestry, Plumpton Agricultural College
  • Technical Member, Arboricultural Association

Professional Experience

  • Arboriculture

Specialist Areas

  • BS5837
  • CAD Drafting
  • Arboricultural Impact Assessments
  • Tree Consultancy for Planning

Hobbies

    Rock Climbing, Clay Pigeon Shooting and Trees

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