Forestry Commission logo

Operational Site Assessments and public communications

Aims and outcomes
How we plan to engage and consult stakeholders
Who’s involved and their role
Expected Benefits
What is and isn’t included in this initiative 

Aims and outcomes

The principal outcome for this initiative is to develop recommendations for Operational Site Assessments (OSA) to deliver better communication to the public regarding forest operations.

How we plan to engage and consult stakeholders

There are two phases to this initiative. 

Phase 1: Gathering Feedback April 2015

Feedback on how we communicate about forest operations was gathered through an online questionnaire.  Some of the key points made were:

  • Keep signage on site up to date
  • Put more information online so visitors can plan ahead
  • Notices at the forest in advance of work
  • Contact large local groups / key stakeholders in advance to spread information

Phase 2: Trialling improvements at forest operation sites

Methods of communication, developed from the feedback in phase 1, are being tested at Rendlesham and Tilgate Forest throughout 2015.  One of the methods being trialled are new Forest Operations in East District and East Disitrict Forest Plans web pages.

The findings will be used to improve communication regarding operations across the East England Forest District through Operational Site Assessments.

The final results from the Phase 2 test sites will be published on this webpage in December 2015.  Mean while please ensure you sign up for email alerts on the Have Your Say in East District page if you would like to be kept informed.


Operational Site Assessments

Operational Site Assessments (OSA) are used by operational teams within the District as a tool to ensure that best practice is instilled into operational activities on site.  The OSA acts as a checklist, being passed between technical leads to ensure advice is provided on each operation, including communication with the public. Forest operations can range from felling and thinning trees to creating new trails or structures such as bridges or access.

For a majority of operational activities, communication with the public is essential to promote safety. However, people use the forest in different ways and at different times and don’t all have the same level of awareness about the wide range of work that the Forestry Commission carry out.  This can make getting across the real and practical impact of forest operations challenging.  With a limit on resources and time, consultation aims to help rationalize the approach taken to improve delivery of communication within the OSA process and seek resource efficiencies where possible. 

For more information on the work the Forestry Commission do visit The Forestry Commission in England

To Get Involved with how the Forestry Commission plan the management of the Public Forest Estate go to the Get Involved Forest Plans page.

Who’s involved and their role

Forestry Commission: East England Forest District Land Management Team
Role of the Forestry Commission: To improve communication with the public regarding to forest operations

Stakeholders in the Public Forest Estate:
People or organisations who visit, use, live near by or have a stake in the Public Forest Estate.

Role of stakeholders / participants
To provide feedback on how well communication is delivered currently and ways to improve.

Expected Benefits

For stakeholders

  • To more informed about forest operations
  • To visit the forest safely
  • To have a broader understanding about the work being carried out on the Public Forest Estate

For the Forestry Commission

  • To be able to better communicate with the public on forest operations
  • To work in a safer environment
  • To benefit from local knowledge from informed forest users and visitors

What is and isn’t included in this initiative


Consultation and feedback opportunities to help improve how the Forestry Commission communication with the public about forest operations

Not included

An opportunity to change the operational work and management the Forestry Commission carry out

Forestry Commission contact

Victoria Tustian


Last updated: 10th July 2018

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