The APF Exhibition is the UK’s largest forestry, woodland, arboriculture, fencing and biomass show. Here, exhibition secretary Ian Millward offers an insight into how preparations are coming along for APF 2022.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. We are noticing a definite ramping up towards APF 2022, despite it still being 10 months away. In the last few weeks there has been a steady stream of exhibitors booking sites. It is particularly encouraging that many are new exhibitors who have not been with us before. We have also seen a number of exhibitors seeking to expand their existing stands as they anticipate having new products and machinery to launch in September. 

READ MORE: APF 2022: Ian Millward offers an update on preparations

Online ticket sales were also good in December, perhaps suggesting that some of you will have found an advanced ticket to APF 2022 in your Christmas stocking. Buying in advance makes a great deal of sense, not least as it is £4 cheaper than the gate price and you get fast tracking through the gates on arrival. We will once again have our on-site campsite, situated in the south car park just 200 m from the entrance, for all those that wish to stay more than one day at the show. We are limited to 500 pitches, so booking is on a first-come-first-served basis. Don’t count on being able to turn up on the day and book in. You might be disappointed.

Forestry Journal:

One of things that helps us enormously in setting up and running the event is our team of experienced helpers. Their knowledge of the event is invaluable, allowing them to drop back into previous roles after a couple of years between shows (four in 2022’s case).

This all used to be done on a voluntary basis, which was fine back in the old days when we arrived on site on the Saturday to set up the show for the following week. Nowadays, the show has grown to such a size that we start building three weeks in advance. That is too much to ask from volunteers, so our staff are now paid on a commercial basis and we put them up in a local hotel and feed and water them. A good meal, drink and a comfy bed do wonders for staff morale at the end of a long day! Our time spent living on site in caravans, traipsing through the mud to get a lukewarm shower are, thankfully, a distant memory.

Our chief co-ordinator Jemma has been busy ringing around our 2018 staff trying to wake them out of hibernation and I am pleased to say the vast majority will be able to help us out again this year. Staff safety and training are obviously very important to us.

Eric Boyd, our assistant safety officer, has specific responsibility for training. From Jemma’s list, Eric will check how up–to–date our staff’s training is, check what certificates of competence they have and arrange refresher training for them in such things as forklift driving and first aid. We encourage all our staff to hold a first aid qualification and are happy to pay for them to take a course if they have yet to do so.

This is then added to training we give the team when they arrive on site in September.

Forestry Journal:

Our safety officer, Gordon Adam, and others give staff a detailed briefing, a familiarisation tour and further specific training dependent on what role they are doing.

As our site is so big, with a 2,000 m demo circuit and about £60 million of machinery on view, Gordon and Eric are now assisted by three other sector safety co-ordinators with a specific brief. All our senior staff will join us during a demo committee meeting in April to get an early view of the site, and are encouraged to give us any feedback they have based on their previous experience.

READ MORE: APF: How the event will forge ahead for 2022

Two years ago, most of our committee went on an advanced safety course designed for management. I was both pleased to see that we were taking the correct approach and slightly surprised by how much some of my fellow delegates from other, non-forestry and arb-related companies, in many other industry sectors, needed to up their game. Safety comes from creating a culture from the top down. I am sure you are as concerned as I am by the ongoing accident statistics that FISA publish each month from the HSE.

If you have not yet caught up with our excellent chainsaw competence blog with Calum Duffy, please take time to watch it. It is a very informative 30 minutes. You will find a link to it at the bottom of the home page on our website.

If you have yet to book your stand for APF 2022, and would like to see the site, our next exhibitor site meeting is February 16 at 2pm at the Kings Court Hotel, Alcester B49 5QQ.

If you just want a static stand then there is no need to attend a meeting, although we encourage you to do so. Just download an exhibitor booking form from the website, choose a site from the online maps and email the form across. It’s as easy as that!

APF 2022 will take place on the 22–24 September at Ragley Estate, Warwickshire. Visit for more information.