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Portia Howe on the tree which is thought to be oldest in Lichfield district – an Oak in Colton that started growing around 1480
A Lichfield tree expert has earned the highest vocational award in her field. Portia Howe, Aboricultural Officer at Lichfield District Council, has been awarded the Professional Diploma in Arboriculture (PDArb). The diploma is administered by ABC Awards in association with the Royal Forestry Society. Fourteen candidates took part in the final, stringent management exercises that were held at Westonbirt in autumn 2009. Portia was one of only five who managed to successfully complete all the sections and achieve the diploma. John Jackson, Chief Executive of the Royal Forestry Society, said:
“The PDArb is held in high esteem throughout the UK, Ireland and the near Continent. Standards are set deliberately high and all those who pass have shown exceptional abilities. We hope that those candidates who just failed to achieve the qualification will be back to try again in 2010 along with others who are striving to demonstrate they too are amongst the best in the industry.”
Councillor Neil Roberts, Cabinet Member for Development Services at Lichfield District Council, added:
“Well done to Portia. This is an extremely difficult diploma to achieve, and it shows much skill and dedication to her profession.”

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Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.