Angie Cruse – Owner and Director, Happy Habitats & Nigel Powell Arboriculture

Our objective with both of our young companies is to change the way in which trees are considered within our environment. Whether in a woodland, a group or an individual, we value the habitat a tree has become. Our work is to enhance that biodiversity and support the associated wildlife.

As well as running the two business’s and to ensure we have a holistic approach to all our environmental management, Angie is responsible for continual research in habitat management, invasive species and habitat surveys, invasive species management, woodland planting, a qualified tree surgeon and groundswoman for our work in the field. This year Angie has qualified as a badger vaccinator to assist in the eradication of Tb in our countryside. Currently training as a Bryophyte botanist ensuring our woodland management is fully inclusive of not only each canopy but the micro habitats a woodland supports.

Angie is planning for the Happy Habitats brand to expand into further areas which all share the same core value. Including a level 3 awarded and FSA approved Forest School.

Education and professional qualifications

MAY 2019cornwall badger vaccination

Badger vaccination Module’s 2 and Module 3 with APHA Woodchester park (National Wildlife Management Centre) & Derbyshire Vaccination Scheme, Peak District.
Classroom and field work to be fully competent to vaccinate badgers and apply for the license to Trap and Vaccinate Badgers for the Purpose of Preventing the Spread of Bovine TB in Cattle. Course includes: Carry out fieldwork safely, Follow biosecurity guidelines when setting traps, Handling vaccines – how to store, use the cold chain system, and keep records, Reconstitute and use vaccines, Assess badger welfare pre and post vaccination, Vaccinating wild badgers. LANTRA AWARD ID 902055

JUL 2018 – 8 weeks

Habitat management for conservation – Acorn Ecology
Covering 6 modules. Module 1) Why Manage Habitat? –  Module 2) Surveys and Monitoring, – Module 3) Management Planning – Module 4) Habitat Management – Woodland. – Module 5) Habitat Management – Grassland – Module 6) Habitat Management for Specific Species

OCT 2018

Level 2 award – felling and processing trees up to 380mm City & Guilds, NPTC
203 Fell and process trees up to 380mm (M/504/0321)

Level 2 award – chainsaw maintenance & cross cutting City & Guilds, NPTC
201 Carry out maintenance of chainsaw and cutting system (K/504/0319)
202 Cross cutting timber using a chainsaw (T/504/0319).

CPD

SEPT 2019 to MARCH 2020
New Generation Botanists – Advanced Bryophyte course – British Bryological Society/Plantlife
Advanced course of moss and liverwort biology and their ecological significance. This course covers site surveying and recording with expert bryologists. Applying a more in depth understanding of characteristics and terminology. Laboratory work with microscope Identification, keying out of acrocarps, pleurocarps, sphagnum, thallose liverworts and leafy liverworts and how to distinguish by their growth form.

SEPT 2019 to FEB 2020
Forest School Leader level 3 (FSA approved) – Richard Irvine Outdoor Learning
Course to gain the skills and knowledge required to plan for and lead groups of children safely and effectively in long term Forest School Programmes. This course will allow our woodland to become a nature school and outdoor learning facility which will focus on education about our wildlife habitat.

10 JULY 2019
Alternatives to Pesticides Demonstration Event – Cornwall Council and Tevi
Part of the Environmental challenge network, this event involved a good understanding of what damage pesticides/herbicides are causing to soil, water, air and human health. Covering invasive weed management, strategies in business to get ahead and join hundreds of pesticide free towns/cities. Demonstrations of three main alternatives, Rootwave, Kersten and Foamstream. Joined by PAN UK the only UK based charity dedicated to a pesticide free future. Plus talks by Edwina Hannaford – Cabinet member for Climate Change and Jenny Christie, Cornwall Council- Environmental Growth Strategy.

02 JULY 2019
Increasing tree canopy cover action plan & positive land management – TEVI & Cornwall Council
Aligning with Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy and Forests for Cornwall Plan (previously the Canopy Action Plan), Tevi brought together enterprises who have land with those who have expertise in trees. Building on the insights of an excellent array of speakers, the day was to better understand the economic, social and environmental benefits that trees provide, with the aim of increasing the tree canopy cover across Cornwall.

25 JUNE 2019
Atlantic Woodlands for outdoor leaders – Plantlife
Post Rapid Woodland Assessment training, this course allowed me to gain knowledge on how to communicate the importance of Lichens to others. Identifying Lichens, learning about lichen habitat and the use of lichens to survey pollution and nitrogen. Additionally we covered fern ecology and identification through their leaf structure and Sori.

25 JUNE 2019
Arable plant ID & management– RSPB/Plantlife/Back from the Brink
Run by Back from the Brink project/ Colour in the Margins with Hannah Gibbons (RSPB), Phil Wilson and Pete Thompson (GWCT).
This course was to learn identification of rare plants and land management for arable plants and agri-environment schemes. Encouraging plants to reappear from buried seed.

28 MAY 2019
Bumblebee workshop – ERRCIS
Indoor sessions with Ecologist Patrick Saunders about surveying methods, Bumblebee ecology, identification and recording. Practical demonstrating how to survey, capture & identify species in the field.

20 -22 MAY 2019
Module 3 Cage Trapping and Vaccination of Badgers – APHA
As Above.

15 & 16 MAY 2019
Intro to Bryophytes foundation course – Plantlife
The basics of moss and liverwort biology and their ecological significance. How to distinguish mosses and liverworts by their growth form, recognizing acrocarps, pleurocarps, sphagnum, thallose liverworts and leafy liverworts.

15 APR 2019
Seed and Leaf beetles workshop – ERRCIS
A training day on how to identify beetles, their ecology and different types of habitat.

8 – 9 APR 2019
Module 2 Pre-baiting and trap siting for badger vaccination – APHA
Held at the APHA National Wildlife Management Centre, Woodchester Park with 32 active setts. Classroom and field work in a Lantra accredited course. Trained in siting traps, pre baiting, baiting, trapping, welfare, biosecurity, paperwork, badger habitat and social behavior.

3 APRIL 2019
Rapid Woodland Assessment (RWA) – Plantlife
A training day with Dr Alison Smith specifically on our SW regions Atlantic Woodland. Identifying our regions potential to support important lichens and bryophytes and improve their conservation.

15 MAR 2019
Cornwall branch spring event at the Eden Project – Arboricultural Association
A guided tour hosted by the Eden Project to look at the trees and issues with their management both inside and outside the biomes. Issues such as soils, disease, lack of wind and tree safety policies.

29 JAN 2019
AGM – Arboricultural Association
Attended Cornwall branch AGM helping shape what is achieved in 2019

3 DEC 2018
Woodmeet – Winter meeting
Sponsored by the forestry commission, various talks on tree work, inspections, pest and diseases and woodland management.

20 NOV 2018
Autumn seminars – Arboricultural Association
Attended seminar featuring highway tree inspection from Jeremy Barrell, pests and diseases from the forestry commission, re-introduction of beavers by Cheryl Marriott.

Skills

  • Comprehensive & detailed habitat, wildlife and bryophyte species surveys in marshes, arable land and woodland. Particularly experienced in invasive species of large scale Crassula Helmsii sites.
  • Herbicide free invasive species management with fast handling of Impatiens glandulifera in particular.
  • Badger surveying, trap siting and vaccination
  • Hard working tree surgery groundswoman, inc. ground felling/ clearing, all ropework, lowering branches, arial rescue, processing trees and tracked chipper owner and operator.
  • Soft landscaper whilst prioritising wildlife/ creating wildlife gardens
  • Run all aspects of our environmental contracts and consultancy business
  • Forest School leader – Level 3

Activities and Volunteering

Active Tromso, Northern Norway. Seasonal in 2011 to 2014.

Dog Sledding expedition guide – Assisting the head guide in leading 7 day expeditions with 80 dogs and 10 participants each week in the arctic wilderness. Collecting and co briefing participants. Ensuring dogs were well cared for on expedition, harnessing and securing dogs, feeding and checking health, emergency response and keeping up morale.

Libearty Bear Sanctuary, Zarnesti, Romania. 2015.

Guiding English speaking visitors for educational purposes and major donor funding. Organising and sorting all donated “past sell by date” food from local supermarkets. Creating poultry and yoghurt icecream etc and catapulting food from outside enclosures. Woodland management & logging. Organising tasks for volunteers around sanctuary. CCTV and surveillance patrols to ensure all bears were secure from potential outside danger and in good health. Interviews to create charity awareness videos. Endorsed by WSPA to create charity fundraising treks

Creator of TOMORROWBEAR, the inspired adventure guide. APR 2013 

Adventure guide specializing in “leave no trace” experiences and coexisting with nature. Wilderness guide and later promoting experts in their field. Booking agent and Co-creator of Arctic expeditions and charity funded treks. Working with pioneering explorers, company owners abroad, mountaineers clubs and wildlife sanctuaries. Locations: Northern Norway and The Carpathians, Romania.

Woodland owner and manager – Happy Habitats Sept 2018

We own 4.5 acres of Ancient woodland near Truro.  We are managing the woodland for the benefit of wildlife and wish to use our findings as an educational resource for both ourselves and others.

Observing and managing a woodland long term allows us to study the entire woodland ecology. How our intervention and nonintervention have benefitted wildlife habitat and species diversity. Some of our work includes thinning areas for light and health, creation of deadwood habitats (standing dead trees, fallen trees), encouraging biodiversity and preserving important habitat. We are writing a management plan based on this study and diary of progress along the way.