Here at Ian Morgan Arb, we see a wide range of backgrounds represented among our recipients of arborist training in Staffordshire, and one national story has highlighted, once more, how someone from almost any past job can end up entering the field.
The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald reported on how Inspector Dave Willets, of Eden policing, is retiring after some three decades in the police force to become a tree surgeon. The decision to switch career evidently wasn’t one taken lightly by Insp. Willets – he had, after all, dreamed of a career as a police officer since watching Starsky and Hutch on television as a child.
As Insp. Willets himself put it, “When I realised I didn’t have enough brains to be a vet and not enough land to be a farmer, I wanted to be a police officer.”
He went on to enjoy a 14-year stint at the Met in London, after applying to 11 forces around the country while still in his teens. His time in London led to his promotion to sergeant at Chelsea and Kensington, with his specialism being public order offences.
It was during his London career that he was known as police constable three, this being abbreviated to PS3. When it was discovered by colleagues that Insp. Willets was indulging his other passion through evening studies in ecology and conservation at Birkbeck College, University of London, he was nicknamed ‘PS Tree’ – which later became his new business name.
Insp. Willets ‘ journey in arb training can be traced back to 2009, when he completed his initial qualification in tree surgery at Myerscough College, Lancashire. He has lived up north since 1999, when a broken leg sustained in London prompted he and his wife to write down a list of the places where they wanted to live – agreeing on Cumbria.
Although he has spent the last four years based in Penrith, which he has called “fantastic”, on his first move from the capital, he lived in the “stunning” area near Ennerdale Water, commenting: “I had some people asking how I managed with the 20-minute commute, although it was nothing compared to what I used to travel.”
We can only welcome Insp. Willets the very best in his future career here at Ian Morgan Arb. In much the same way, we continually welcome new ambitious enrolees on our own arboricultural training in Staffordshire, the first step into what is a hugely rewarding new professional life for many people of the complete range of backgrounds.