Beccy Middleton
Chainsaw CS30 and CS31 certificates
report for PGT

From Beccy Middleton a recipient working at RHS Rosemoor

Course details:
CS30 – Prepare and Maintain the Chainsaw
10th and 11th March at Instaple Farm, Bradworthy.
Instructor: Tony Judge of Judge and Hobden training.

This part of the course covered basic maintenance of the chainsaw and cross-cutting including:
knowledge of the different parts of the saw and their function
sharpening and replacing the chain
routine maintenance
safe starting procedure and correct posture during use
cross-cutting including knowledge of tension and compression

CS31 – Fell and Process Small Trees
15th – 17th March at Castle Drogo Estate (National Trust).
Instructor: as above

The second course concentrated on correct use of the chainsaw and basic techniques for felling small trees (under 380mm diameter). It included:
three common felling cuts (standard, dog tooth, split level)
snedding and cross-cutting
taking down hung up trees

Assessment: 19th April, council owned woods between Bude and Kilkhampton.

I am extremely grateful for the funding provided by the PGG Trust which has enabled me to undertake these qualifications and successfully pass the assessment. I now feel confident in using chainsaws and while I will become more skilled given time and further practice, I know I am safe and competent.

Learning about the maintenance of the saw has given me a better understanding of 2-stroke machines in general, and I think this will help me when I come to work with other machines such as hedge trimmers and strimmers. Whilst some gardens have dedicated Estates departments to service machines, many do not, and therefore at some point in the future it may be essential to be able to look after any machine I am using and to diagnose and fix common problems.

Undertaking this course has helped me to acquire a new skill, and brought me a step closer to becoming a good all-round horticulturalist. Using chainsaws certainly appears to be frequently needed skill and so I hope I can be a more useful and adaptable member of any team I work with in the future, whichever garden I am employed in. I also enjoy voluntary conservation work, and so having CS30 and CS31 means I could contribute more, as using a chainsaw often speeds up the work but is not something that many volunteers are able to do. It has also opened the door to specialising in arboriculture in the future if this becomes an option. Since I have really enjoyed the course this is definitely something to think about.