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 four or five 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. Last year, over 3,000 people just like you trusted Arbtech to take complete ownership of their tree, ecology and protected species issues at their site. The number of planning refusals on the basis of our advice? The number of EPS licences we applied for that were refused? Combined, the answer is zero.

What do I do all day?

Read, mostly.

More about Rob

I am a former Army reserve infantry solider with 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment, a powerlifting and fitness maniac*, and a long-suffering student of Spanish and Portuguese. I enjoy reading about everything biology, psychology, and economics. I’ve probably averaged about a book a week since my early twenties. Since graduating from university the first time (arboriculture), I’ve since been back several times: I have an MBA (Durham) and MSc Psychology (Liverpool). This year, I begin my third masters. In the meantime, I’ve also put myself through a fair bit of executive education, including the leadership 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. I summited Mont Blanc–the first step of many on my quest for an 8,000m peak. 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 since 17 January 2005: 16 years.

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

Managing Director

Professional Experience

Management, Psychology, Biology

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 and various fight sports, powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, running, hiking, snowboarding, mountain biking, motorbikes, languages (Spanish, Portuguese), and reading; mostly about biology, economics and psychology

More Arbtechers

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

Julia Robinson

Julia Robinson

Business Manager
Scott Warren

Scott Warren

Finance Manager
Andy Ward

Andy Ward

Marketing Manager
Chris Formaggia

Chris Formaggia

Head of Ecology
Craig Williams

Craig Williams

Principal Ecologist & BNG Lead
Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Senior Ecologist & Bat Licence Lead
Lizi Pimlott

Lizi Pimlott

Senior Ecologist & QC Lead
Joe Slade

Joe Slade

Senior Ecologist
Katy Perry

Katy Perry

Senior Ecologist
Matthew Middle

Matthew Middle

Senior Arboriculturist
Jonathan Stuttard

Jonathan Stuttard

Senior Ecologist
Jon Hartley

Jon Hartley

Senior Arboriculturist
Alan Thompson

Alan Thompson

Senior Arboriculturist
Aran Nearn

Aran Nearn

Senior Arboriculturist
Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards

Consultant Arboriculturist
Mel Reid

Mel Reid

Consultant Ecologist
Fay Brotherhood

Fay Brotherhood

Consultant Ecologist
Nicole Gullan

Nicole Gullan

Consultant Ecologist
Max Bell

Max Bell

Consultant Arboriculturist
Elen Griffin

Elen Griffin

Consultant Ecologist
Emily Kempson

Emily Kempson

Consultant Arboriculturist
Charlie Moore

Charlie Moore

Surveyor
Chris Wren

Chris Wren

Surveyor
Megan Knapp

Megan Knapp

Surveyor
Deqa Mohamed

Deqa Mohamed

Surveyor
Clare Murphy

Clare Murphy

PA to Robert Oates
Emma Gray

Emma Gray

Administrator
Alison Royle

Alison Royle

Administrator
Donna Swinburn

Donna Swinburn

Administrator
Sally Parry

Sally Parry

Administrator
Louise Gore

Louise Gore

Marketing Assistant
Sam Davies

Sam Davies

Videographer
Gill Broad

Gill Broad

Editor

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