Stump grinder

Stump grinder

Two training courses are taking place this week which involve some of the QECP rangers. Firstly, the use of stump grinders. These are really important tools that are used where trees have been felled in busy public areas. The machine effectively chips the cut stump down to below ground level. This ensures that no trip hazards are left, and that mowers or other machinery can pass over the spot without risk of breakage.


The second course was the use of Mobile Elevated Work Platforms. These are used to  inspect and work on large trees where climbing might be risky. The model used for the training had a reach of 25 metres and was self-propelled.


The Park has 5 full-time rangers and one part timer.They are all trained in a wide variety of subjects which could be grouped as follows; visitor related (customer care through to dealing with accidents and incidents), driving related (4WD and defensive driving) and machinery related (chainsaw to stump grinder).

Due to the large number of visitors who come to QECP, over 330,000 each year, and the presence of students and volunteers who help out, the level of training and the frequency of re-training is key. Without the relevant training and certification no vehicle or machine may be used.

There are two bodies which oversee all the outdoor based training in the UK. The City & Guilds-Land Based Training who design relevant vocational qualifications to be delivered by training providers, colleges and employers. More information at

And Lantra the UK Sector Skills Council for Land Based & Environmental Industries. details at

Virtually all our practical training will carry the NPTC or LANTRA certification.

In this case a local trainer was delivering the two courses. Chris Bain who is based at the nearby Staunton Country Park and offers a wide range of course titles including chainsaw sculpture. His web-site is at