Technical Services Unit – listening to customers

Providing experimental and survey fieldwork, nursery and engineering workshop services

News from Forest Research: December 2008

Sampling of greenhouse gases using a closed flux chamber at the Flanders Moss peatbog site in Sterling

The Technical Service Unit (TSU) within Forest Research provides experimental and survey fieldwork, nursery and engineering workshop services to Forest Research scientists and Forestry Commission managers. Contract work for other research organisations and land managers is also welcome.

TSU undertakes a wide variety of fieldwork and is always interested in developing new services. For example, at Flanders Moss in Scotland, TSU staff are working on an experiment established to look at bog restoration after removal of tree cover. For over 10 years, they have been providing ground vegetation and water level assessments for the site. Recently, the work expanded to include a study of greenhouse gas emissions using on-site semi-permanent chambers. These are covered and gas samples taken for analysis by research colleagues in Forest Research.

TSU is keen to deliver high-quality services tailored to customers’ requirements. Dr Janet Dutch, Head of Technical Services Unit comments:

“For the past two years we have carried out a customer survey, scoring our performance against a number of criteria. The primary objective is to identify where and how we need to improve services to customers. Results from 2007–08 show a significant improvement in performance ratings, particularly in areas highlighted last year as requiring attention. This not only reflects well on TSU staff, but also on our customers, whose constructive responses to the survey enable us to better understand their needs.”

For more details on working with TSU, contact Janet Dutch: 0131 445 2176 or


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This and other news stories can be found in the December 2008 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.