IN a series of articles, we'll be looking back at the history of the APF show and previewing its long-awaited return this month. Here’s a look at what will be happening across the three days – and why you won’t want to miss out!

IT’S been a long time coming, but APF 2022 is nearly here. After the unavoidable delays and cancellations of the last few years, excitement is at fever pitch, with the show shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before.

With over 300 exhibitors booked, 25,000 visitors expected and with record advance ticket sales, APF 2022 promises to be a fantastic event with a tremendous amount to see and do.

The Husqvarna World 25 m Poleclimbing Championships has a big prize fund of over £10,000 in cash and Husqvarna equipment. The current world champion, Dan Whelan, will be defending his title after having recently set a new world record with an almost unbelievable time of just 8.84 seconds.  There are classes for experts, novices, women and veterans. The A W Jenkinson and Tilhill European Chainsaw Carving Competition sees 25 of Europe’s top carvers compete over the three days to produce a fantastic sculpture. These will be auctioned on Saturday afternoon. There will also be two daily speed carves with eight carvers having just 30 minutes to complete a sculpture.

READ MORE APF: APF through the ages: Taking a look at UK's largest forestry show

The Arb Show at APF 2022 will be a must-see area for all arborists.  Located at point 760 on the demo circuit, it has three action-packed events taking place. The Harkie UK Open Tree Climbing Competition will run over all three days, with daily prizes for premier, expert and novice classes.  Never sport climbed before? There will be equipment and help available to get you started. 

The Harkie Reeve Competition is a fun team event for four people to manoeuvre a dummy along a vertical obstacle course.  There are great Harkie goody bags on offer for the fastest three times and all competitors get a free beer on the Harkie stand. 

For the very first time at the show, visitors will get the rare opportunity to watch a tree dismantling by crane demo by Arborcraft and Afan Treescapes. There will be daily demonstrations at 1 pm using a 40-tonne mobile crane to dismantle a mature oak tree.

All of this can be found at point 760 on the demo circuit.

Forestry Journal:

Entry forms for the poleclimbing and UK Open tree climbing are available on the APF website.  

On the Friday, the McVeigh Parker British Open Fencing Championships will see a dozen two-man teams of the UK’s best fencers competing to erect 60 m of stock fence by hand using several technical skills and techniques in the quickest possible time.  

The traditional woodland crafts area, situated right in front of the south visitor entrance, is the show’s largest and most comprehensive ever. Over 25 unusual and rare woodland crafts will be on display, including charcoal burning, hot hooping and wheelwright demos, clog making, willow weaving, coracles, hazel hurdles, cleft oak, oak swill baskets, devon stave baskets, hazel whisket baskets, chair making and carving, cane, rush and seagrass seat weaving, rake making, pole-lathe turning and dug-out canoes.

Visitors can book in to do a whole-day course to learn how to make a hay rake. The World Log To Leg race will have 10 of the top pole-lathe turners going head to head against the clock to produce two perfect chair legs from ash logs. In 2018, the winner took just nine minutes and 24 seconds.

The British Horse Loggers will be running daily demos, providing advice on horse logging and offering have-a-go opportunities to handle these gentle giants. 

Forestry Journal:

The Forest Worker Zone, at point 170 on the demo circuit, will see a collaboration of events and demos hosted by the FWZ, the Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA), the Forestry Contracting Association (FCA), leading training and assessment centre MWMAC, the Forestry Commission (FC), the Landworkers Alliance (LWA) and the National Coppice Federation (NCFED). 

All the demos are designed to aid and inform those working in the forest and woodland industries.  These include the Komatsu harvester simulator, daily demos of chainsaw maintenance, chainsaw competency, winching demos, the safe use of tree shears, the Woody Branch campaign for sustainable forests, coppice management and coverage of new firewood regulations.

If all the above was not enough, there will also be the infamous Chainsaw Hold Out Competition and even yoga first thing in the morning in the FWZ marquee.

Forestry Journal:

The new Arb Worker Zone on Stand A12, run by the Arb Association, will have a great daily programme of practical and technical demos covering a wide range of subjects.

There will be line-throwing and knot-tying competitions. In the Arborists’ Workshop will be a fantastic series of seminars on a wide range of topics such as the use of cranes in tree work, climbing compliantly in 2022 and the Arb Approved Contractor Scheme. The full daily programmes are available on the APF website.

Confor will be hosting its AGM as well as other forest-related seminars on its stand at point 1640 on the demo circuit.

Chief executive Stuart Goodall said: “The entire sector has been looking forward to the return of in-person exhibitions like this and we are so grateful to the APF team for bringing the show back for 2022.

Forestry Journal:

“As the largest event of its kind in the UK, the APF is a unique and valuable experience for anyone with even a passing interest in forestry, arboriculture or biomass. From climbing and chainsaw carving to new machinery and professional training, there really is something for everyone.

“Exhibitors are joining us from as far away as Japan and the United States this year, which speaks to the international appeal and acclaim the show has earned.”
All of the events listed above will be in addition to more than two miles and £80 million of almost every type of forestry, woodland, arboriculture and fencing machinery imaginable.

APF exhibition secretary Ian Millward said: “We are very excited about the range of events and features APF 2022 is offering this year and would really like to thank all our sponsors and the Arb Association for enabling us to stage these.

Forestry Journal:

“We have tried very hard to make sure visitors can come along and update their knowledge and skills, as well as having a great day out. APF 2022 is not just a place for a great day out but a place to learn, listen to experts and update your knowledge on every aspect of trees and timber. 

“We look forward to welcoming you to APF 2022.”

APF 2022 will be held on 22–24 September at Ragley Estate, Alcester, Warwickshire. A full daily programme of the huge array of competitions, events, demonstrations and seminars taking place is now available in the visitor section on the APF website at

The following events and competitions will take place at APF 2022:

  • Husqvarna World 25 m Pole Climbing Championships
  • Tilhill Forestry and A W Jenkinson European Chainsaw Carving Competition
  • Horse Logging 
  • Biosecurity, bio-energy, woodfuel and tree health seminars
  • Seminars and advice on forestry education, training and careers
  • The Forest Worker Zone with drop-in sessions on subjects affecting the forest worker
  • The Arb Worker Zone with daily drop-in sessions and demonstrations of the latest equipment and techniques
  • The Harkie UK Open Tree Climbing Competition
  • On-site training courses
  • The Fencing Village
  • The UK Open Fencing Championships
  • Extensive traditional woodland crafts
  • World ‘Log to Leg’ Pole Lathe Turning Championships