Robert Oates

In late January 2005, I set up a company, providing forestry 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, but eventually my efforts started to pay off. Either that, I suppose, or I just spent those early years learning my fair share of life’s lessons the hard way. Almost a decade later and I am managing director of one of the largest and foremost ecological consultancies in the UK: Arbtech.

What do I do all day?

I spend most of my days talking to our team and clients; trying to extract actionable feedback from all angles. 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, even elegant. And it means cheaper. 

At any one time I manage a multitude of projects and technology investments, all of which 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 an infantry solider with 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Army Reserve), a weight training and fitness maniac, and (long-suffering) student of Spanish. I enjoy reading about everything economics; from the financial markets to game theory, and have probably averaged about a book a week since my early twenties.

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, I compete regionally, nationally and internationally in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (Team Sukata). At home on the occasional lazy Sunday I like to enjoy a (large) glass of Cabernet and some down time my wife, Kylie.

Amy Campion says:

As an insurance policy against his 5-a-day not being enough (he probably gets 15-20!), 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!

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.

What Clients Say About Robert Oates

Arbtech are always very proficient and work with us closely for clients in the Surrey and Kent areas. The deal personally with planning officers and are able to often overcome quite complex design and tree interface issues with impressive ease. We always recommend Arbtech to clients and have never once had a reason not to continue to do so.

Rob’s greatest asset is his straight-talking manner. His integrity is second to none and through consultancy work he is able to put to very effective use, his ability to distill a solution to complex issues into a single, simple (and often humorous) sentence.

By Ben Beth Landscape Architecture Services

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