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England's Woods & Forests
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Health and Safety on the public forest estate

Health and Safety considerations are at the core of all we do. We recognise that safe work environments and healthy employees contribute to the organisation’s success.

We strive to ensure the public forest estate is accessible and safe for both our employees and visitors.

Looking after our visitors

We welcome more than 40 million visits each year to our estate. Our woodlands are open and accessible, providing opportunities to enjoy our rural landscapes and natural environments.

We build and maintain recreational facilities – walking and cycling trails, play structures and more – to the highest health and safety guidelines. We regularly inspect our woodlands to ensure our trails and facilities remain safe in line with the standards set out by the Visitor Safety in the Countryside Group.

When we have to close off sections of our estate due to exceptional weather, forest management, harvesting timber or large recreation events we use signage to keep our visitors informed, diverting paths where possible to ensure our forests remain open yet safe.

Looking after our staff and people who work with us

We know that the forest industry is one of the most dangerous sectors in which to work in the UK, and we act proactively to safeguard the health and safety of our employees and others who may be affected by our work.

Through the Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA) we work with other forestry organisations and share experience across the industry to improve safety for employees working on our estate.

In order to implement our health and safety policy effectively we ensure our staff are aware of, and understand, the hazards and risks associated with their work. We empower our staff to manage and minimise these risks, ensuring the safety of themselves and others at all times.

Our guidelines are continually reviewed to ensure they reflect the latest legislation and meet our rigorous standards.

Our full health and safety policy can be downloaded as a PDF.


Last updated: 3rd March 2016

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.