Forestry Commission uses the cloud to fight tree disease

IT services

Forestry Commission uses the cloud to fight tree disease

Karl Flinders

The Forestry Commission has used Huddle’s cloud collaboration services in a project to control the spread of a tree disease known as ash dieback.

The organisation started using Huddle’s cloud-based collaboration software as a result of an existing relationship between Huddle and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The software enables multiple organisations and the people within those organisations to work and share documents in real time. It automatically updates documents after they are changed so the final version is available.

It was put to the test this year as the Forestry Commission used it in its programme to track the spread of the disease, a vital step in containing it.

Brian Granger, relationship manager at the Forestry Commission, said the company's nearest equivalent to the Huddle service was its in-house collaboration software.

“It had some features of Huddle, but was only for internal staff to share resources, whereas Huddle allows sharing with external organisations,” he said. “We had a gap in our IT service so decided to use Huddle.

The organisation has over 30 projects running on Huddle at the moment, but the fight against the ash dieback disease is a good example of its application.

“Each day a map would be put on Huddle that would be updated whenever diseased trees were located. This would automatically be updated,” said Granger.

He said the cloud-based nature of the Huddle tool meant it could be set up quickly, without the need for IT resources, and it offered a pay-as-you-go model. 

“This is important because there are not enough IT resources internally. The need for a service like Huddle has existed for some time, and thankfully, due to Huddle’s pan-government IL2 accreditation, it is a service we are able to implement,” added Granger.


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