Our Team

Robert Oates

In January 2005, I set up a company, providing arboricultural and ecological consultancy, having spent my years prior to this working as a tree surgeon. Then as now, we focus on providing you with unsurpassed customer service, ruthless attention to detail, and speed. Those first couple of years were a real slog, to be honest. Eventually, though, my efforts started to pay off. Either that or I just spent those early years learning my fair share of life’s lessons the hard way!

Today, I am managing director of (by any objective measure) the foremost independently-owned ecological consultancy in the UK: Arbtech.

What do I do all day?

I spend most of my days reading, and talking to our team and clients; all with the aim of trying to extract actionable feedback. I also spend a significant amount of my time on what has become my magnificent obsession: making our operations faster.

Faster means less stifled, more robust; and it means cheaper. At any one time, I manage a multitude of projects that are designed to contribute to increasing the speed and lowering the cost of the service you receive when we work with you.

My ambition is to continue to build a business that is profitable; that is respected for its commitment to conservancy; that contributes positively to the projects of clients and above all, the careers of our employees.

More about Rob

I am a former Army reserve infantry solider with 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment, a powerlifting and fitness maniac*, and (long-suffering) student of Spanish and Portuguese. I enjoy reading about everything psychology and economics; from the financial markets to game theory, and have probably averaged about a book a week since my early twenties. Since graduating from university the first time, I’ve since been back several times: I have an MBA (Durham) and MSc psychology (Liverpool). And in 2020 I begin my third masters: MSc behavioral science (London School of Economics). In the meantime, I’ve also put myself through a fair bit of executive education, including the OTL program (Oxford).

* I’ve spent about two decades getting absurdly strong. These days my ‘party trick’ is that I can walk into B&Q, take a 6″ steel galvanised nail off the shelf and bend it in half with my bare hands.

In the winter I snowboard, and in the summer I can be found doing practically any sport or activity that involves being outside in the sun! I’ve always been a competitor rather than a spectator, so to round things off, five years after taking it up, I now compete at world-level in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; with my recent highlights including superheavyweight and absolute division gold medals at the European Masters, Spanish Nationals, and variously in Paris, Zurich, Rome, Madrid and London, among many others. I’ve competed at the Worlds in Las Vegas twice now, and lost in the quarter-finals to a referee’s decision both times. 2020 going to be my year though; they might as well post me the gold medal now: I’m going to win. I also enjoy watercolor painting, am (painfully slowly) learning the piano, and have recently summited Mont Blanc–the first step on my quest for Everest. For personal interest, I also have a laundry list of qualifications in the fitness and nutrition domains, so don’t get me started talking about diet or exercise!

Rob has been at the helm of Arbtech for 14 years.

Amy Stanley, senior consultant, says:

As an insurance policy against his 5-a-day not being enough (he probably gets 10-15!), Rob has a blender in the office kitchen that gets loaded up with raw veg and fruit every day, and blended. Kind of like an Innocent smoothie. Only it usually ends up a greeny-brown colour and smells a whole lot less appealing! He also steals everyones’ chocolate.

What Makes Arbtech Different?

We are one of the very few consultancies to have a strongly differentiated offering: Unlike most of our ‘we’ll do anything as long as you’re paying us’, competitors we only undertake planning-related tree and ecology surveys; assuring you of our commitment to providing an unmatched depth of planning-related expertise, faster, and at the lowest possible cost. You can find out more about us here.

Job Title

Director

Professional Experience

Management, Arboriculture

Specialist Areas

  • Exemplary customer service
  • Building teams with a strong sense of personal responsibility
  • Black Belt in getting things done

Qualifications

  • Diploma, Forestry, Myerscough College
  • Certified, Tree Surveys for Mortgage and Insurance, Myerscough College
  • FDSc, Arboriculture, University of Central Lancashire
  • Professional Member (MArbA), Arboricultural Association
  • Professional Member (MRSB), Royal Society of Biology
  • Chartered Biologist (CBiol), Royal Society of Biology
  • MBA, Durham Business School, University of Durham
  • Leadership Programme, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • MSc Psychology, University of Liverpool

Hobbies

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, powerlifting, crossfit, running, hiking, snowboarding, mountain biking, American football, motorbikes, Spanish, reading about economics and sustainable development

More Arbtechers

Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.

Chris Formaggia

Chris Formaggia

Principal
Julia Robinson

Julia Robinson

Business Manager
Alexandra Gough

Alexandra Gough

Assistant Business Manager
Scott Warren

Scott Warren

Finance Manager
Emma Gray

Emma Gray

Project Coordinator
Amy Stanley

Amy Stanley

Senior Consultant
Matthew Middle

Matthew Middle

Senior Consultant
Craig Williams

Craig Williams

Senior Consultant
Jon Hartley

Jon Hartley

Senior Consultant
Jo Gregory

Jo Gregory

Senior Consultant
Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Senior Consultant
Alan Thompson

Alan Thompson

Senior Consultant
David Garrick

David Garrick

Consultant
Aran Nearn

Aran Nearn

Consultant
Joe Slade

Joe Slade

Consultant
Louise Sawrey

Louise Sawrey

Consultant
Mel Reid

Mel Reid

Consultant
Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards

Consultant

David Kent

Consultant

Josephine McCarthy

Consultant

Are you sure you want to leave without a free quote?

Get a Quote

No thanks, I don't need a quote