Womens ArbCamp 2023 was held in Baardegem, Belgium.
Over the four days, more than 30 women, trans and non-binary people attended from Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic and the USA.
Womens ArbCamp (WAC) is an initiative of women for women within the arb profession. The goal is to create a safe, friendly, fun and inclusive event for all levels of skills and all interests within arboriculture. The intention is to include women, trans and non-binary people – not to exclude men.
All interests from climbing and pruning work to consultancy and business management are represented, and the event provides networking opportunities, continuous professional development and a means to help support people who are thinking about entering arboriculture as well as those already in the profession.
The event is free of charge for participants and all-inclusive; this year there was camping on site. We are eternally grateful to all our sponsors who make it possible for us to host this free event, providing financial support or goodies we can give to attendees and our workshop leaders, who give up their time to host workshops and lectures during the camp. This year more then 20 sponsors supported us in different ways, including the Swedish Tree Association, Husqvarna, Lättviktsmotor and Freeworker. To see details of all the sponsors and more pictures from the event, visit our website www.womensarbcamp.com.
This year’s WAC included practical and theoretical workshops covering a wide range of topics. Participants also got the opportunity to practise aerial rescue and find out about ergonomics on the ground as well as in the tree, chainsaw handling, using horses in arboriculture and splicing.
During the ergonomic workshop, Fredrika Lundberg demonstrated different ways to use bigger muscles when working in tree care. She also showed how the techniques could be applied during climbing activities and ways to think about positioning and work methods throughout the work day, including during aerial work, ground work, work planning and preparations.
Ann Elisabeth talked about chainsaw safety, chainsaw handling and maintenance. She also gave a practical demonstration showing different cutting techniques and talking about their pros and cons.
Matthias explained the construction of a basic double-braid splice, common errors people make when splicing, and how to find the right instructions for a splice and then follow them. Everyone who wanted to have a go at splicing was given a piece of rope to try it.
Arjan and Simon demonstrated and explained how they utilise their horses to move brash and timber in sensitive forest areas. They talked about the training both the horse and the handler need to be able to create the trust required to work safely and described situations and tasks where a horse is the most viable option.
WAC 2024 will take place in Portugal in April. More information will be available soon on our social media sites. We are called WomensArbCamp on all platforms. If you are interested in sponsoring the event or helping out with a workshop or presentation, you can also contact us via email: email@example.com.
We are excited to be able to host WAC and already looking forward to next year’s. We would like to extend another big thanks to everyone who makes these events possible – all the sponsors, workshop presenters, helpers and participants. We look forward to see you all again next year!
This article was taken from Issue 203 Winter 2023 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.