TrustMark Press Releases

Bury St Edmunds Tree surgeon is Suffolk's champion to change attitudes towards 'white van man'

Jul 22, 2016, 08:01 AM by Georgina Watkins

Bury St Edmunds based arborists and landscapers, Urban Forestry (Bury St Edmunds) Ltd, has been selected to feature in a new national campaign showing how the public’s image of tree surgery, landscaping and other trades is woefully out of date.

 According to a new report by TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed ‘find a tradesperson’ scheme for all trades in and around the home, highly professional local firms like Urban Forestry are banishing the ‘rogue trader’ image and instead building trust, confidence and loyalty among British homeowners.

 Urban Forestry is one of 10 firms chosen to show off these new standards of excellence, to help celebrate TrustMark’s 10th anniversary. Founded in 1992, Urban Forestry is a well-known name

in East Anglia and the Midlands in the landscaping and tree surgery industry.  Headquartered in Bury St Edmunds, the company prides itself on helping to deliver customers the visions they want to achieve on their projects right from the outset and they are continuously developing its practises to the highest industry standards to ensure clients always have piece of mind.

 The company was set up by Reg Harris and his business partner Ian Choules, and has since grown the company to a 55 strong team serving domestic and commercial clients. Reg is an Arboricultural Association lead assessor for its approved contractor scheme and has recently become a Trustee of the Ancient Tree Forum, as he leads work on some of the country’s oldest trees.

 The company has some very longstanding clients and wins much of its work through recommendation. “We have worked at keeping customers’ business by giving good service.  Often customers have worked with someone who is disreputable in the past, and then have come to us.”

 For some 20 years Urban Forestry has been making a significant investment in training and a number of staff have been with the company for around 17 years or more.  “We have a five year training programme. If staff are climbing trees they will average two to five courses a year over the five years,” explains Reg.  “We spend some of our business profit on training, but it pays dividends.”

 As the TrustMark report exemplifies, Urban Forestry prides itself on customer service. “We are always looking to improve the ways we deliver our service and this learning process is never over.  We’re so glad TrustMark is shedding light on the hard work and commitment to raising industry standards firms like ours are doing. It’s about breaking down that stigma attached to the ‘white van man’ and showing customers that there are tradespeople out there that they can trust,” added Reg.  

 Liz Male MBE, chairman of TrustMark says: “Urban Forestry symbolises the sort of smart, motivated and very hardworking businesses steadily changing the reputation and the public’s experience of an entire industry. I feel completely inspired by what they are doing for customers and staff. “TrustMark is proud to be part of this story. For 10 years we have worked with industry and consumer groups to raise standards and to signpost the public to reputable firms across a wide range of trades to do work on our homes and gardens.

 “Of course, the work to tackle rogue traders is never over, and I still see a future full of new opportunities to improve the way the home repairs and improvements market operates. TrustMark has helped many millions of people over the last 10 years, so today it’s right to celebrate the local firms who do so much to support homeowners and build a £27 billion economy. They epitomise a new era of professionalism across a wide range of trades, a million miles away from the old stereotypes of ‘white van man’.”

 TrustMark was launched the public in 2006 as the Government-endorsed quality scheme that signposts consumers to reputable local tradespeople to do work in and around the home.  All TrustMark firms commit to work to Government-endorsed standards and, unlike any other scheme, have been checked for all three cornerstones of quality - their trading practices, customer

service and their technical competence. TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms in the UK, providing national coverage with more than 21,000 licenced trades searchable on its database. 

To find a list of TrustMark-registered tradespeople in Bury St Edmunds and surrounding areas enter your postcode and service required into the free

website search at


Issued on behalf of TrustMark. For further information, interviews or photos of Urban Forestry and its work, please contact:  Georgina Watkins / Louise Cook, Tel: 0333 555 0353 / 0333 555 0339, email: /

 Notes to Editors


  • TrustMark is not an advertising directory or a website that sells leads. It is a registered social enterprise, operated under licence from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). As a not-for-profit organisation it does not make money from consumers.
  • TrustMark’s website has an easy to use UK wide postcode search facility, which provides details of more than 21,000 licensed trades and has the largest database of accredited tradespeople in the country.
  • All TrustMark firms’ technical skills have been independently checked through on-site inspections to ensure a high quality of workmanship and trading practices. TrustMark is the only scheme that requires qualified inspectors to do these visits, so that technical competence is checked as well as business practices and customer satisfaction.
  • TrustMark firms make a commitment to work to Government endorsed standards and are able to offer insurance backed warranties and deposit protection, as well as operating a user-friendly complaints procedure.