The APF Exhibition is the UK’s largest forestry, woodland, arboriculture, fencing and biomass show. As September 22 draws ever closer, exhibition secretary Ian Millward offers an insight into how preparations are coming along for APF 2022, taking place at Ragley Estate, Warwickshire.

BY the time you read this, there will only be a few weeks left until we open the gates to APF 2022. As an organiser, that is quite scary. Deadlines rush towards you and there is always the niggling doubt you have forgotten something.

As I write this, in mid-July, we have over 280 exhibitors booked in and more bookings continue to come in daily. I note from reading the July issue of FJ that Elmia had only 270! That really is a fantastic result for visitors to have such a huge range of exhibitors to see and the faith that exhibitors have in booking space at APF 2022 knowing that it is the place to sell their machines and equipment into the forestry, woodland, arboricultural and fencing industries.

Forestry Journal:

Our June site meeting was well attended and more demo space was sold. Out of a total 3,600 m of available demo space, only 250 m remains. That equates to 2¼ miles of working machinery to look at, plus a further 2,000 m or 1¼ miles of static stands. That is a lot of walking and looking to do! Those figures don’t include the huge range of features and competitions. You are never going to do that in a day, so plan to come for two or all three days.

With the current weather conditions, the ground is as dry as a bone and we will be keeping our fingers and everything else crossed that it stays that way as we take possession of the site and start our build on 5 September. We will shortly be taking advantage of the dry conditions to erect the Husqvarna climbing poles, as the ground will permit the crane to access the site without the use of tracking.

Attention in the office now is focused on our exhibitors. We have just sent out our final bulletin in the run-up to the show. This is effectively an aide-memoire to remind exhibitors of all the things they need to do and check pre-show. I would like to say these bulletins are read avidly by everyone, but sadly that is not the case. You would be surprised how many ‘what is my stand number?’ or ‘how big is my stand?’ queries we get. Exhibitor packs are being made up with the required amount of wristbands and the right colour car hangers to help speed up exhibitors’ access to their stands. All these packs are then kept in readiness for when each exhibitor has completed their details in our Exhibitor Hub, including risk assessment, insurance and payment of all their invoices.

Forestry Journal:

Every risk assessment is individually checked by our safety team before being approved.

Simply writing ‘no risks’ on your risk assessment, as one exhibitor did, will not get through. It is a very strict system and unless we have had everything, an exhibitor is simply not allowed on site. We have had lorries parked outside our exhibitor entrance for half a day waiting for the relevant documents to come through. If you are an exhibitor, please ensure it is all done in plenty of time to avoid delays. There is no shortcut to this!

Please make life easy for all of us.

If you fancy entering the pole-climbing or tree-climbing competitions, entry forms are now available in the visitor section of the website under ‘Competitions and Events’. There are some great prizes on offer as well as the prestige of being a world or UK champion.

In addition to the main tree-climbing competition, Harkie will be running a team challenge event. A four-man team will need to navigate a log complete with four pint glasses full of water and suspended from a 20 m high rigging line, moving it carefully along a route avoiding various obstacles. The prize is that you can claim the same quantity of beer that is left in the pint glasses at the end of the course.

Have you ever fancied making a hay rake by hand from ash poles? On Saturday 24th you have the opportunity to do just that. Jacqui and Pete Codd will be running a day-long course at the show. The cost will be just £75, which includes entrance to the show and you go home with a new rake. There are only six places available, so book now at

Advance tickets continue sell in record numbers. If you buy now, it will save at least £5 on the gate price. The saving is £13 if you book a two-day ticket. Campsite bookings are also very strong. 

We do have a finite number of pitches, so cannot guarantee a pitch if you just turn up on the day. Please book now to avoid disappointment.

Next month’s FJ will include a show preview, so watch out for that and also check the visitor section of the website for the full programme of events, details of the competitions and features and a list of all exhibitors to help plan your visit.  

Plan for two days and that way you will be able to see everything that is on offer. The clock is ticking.