I'm looking into building a conservatory using one of the many available steel bases. these require concrete pads to be laid rather than a full trench footing. The reason I am going down this path is beacause we have some large trees close buy that are protected and the planning officer is concerned we would end up cutting through large roots with a full trench.
so we need to dig the nine holes for the pads and if the planning officer is satisified that we have not hit a root then he will give the go ahead. So I need to be able to dig the nine holes now 450L x 450W x 650D and hopefully not hit a root. I have the benefit of having quite a large plot and the conservatory could be placed anywhere along a length of house about 10m long so if I dig one hole and find a root I will have to move the base along and try again. Eventually (hopefully) I will have 9 holes that have not hit roots.
Now as I'm sure you can see it would be really annoying to have to keep digging holes, find a root and have to start over. particularly if I've got to like hole 8 and its the 9th one that hits the root.
so to my question - is there anything anyone can suggest that I could do to ease the digging process (not just a spade or a digger!). ideally i need some kind of machine that might be able to dig a bore hole to at least give me some indicator of roots prior to digging the whole footing. or something a bit like a stud finder for tree roots!!!
I could end up with loads of massive holes all over my garden!!