The APF Exhibition is the UK’s largest forestry, woodland, arboriculture, firewood, fencing, trees and timber trade show. As organisation gets underway for APF 2024, its exhibition secretary offers Forestry Journal readers an exclusive insight into how preparations are coming along.

I hope you had a good start to the New Year and Burns Night. February brings the realisation that it is less than nine months to go until APF 2024 and it can be quite daunting when we look at the list of jobs to do.

The good news is that exhibitor interest remains very strong. We now have well over 150 exhibitors booked in and more are coming in every day. Space on the demonstration circuit is running low. If you are intending to exhibit at the show please don’t leave it late and be disappointed.


If you want to book a place but have not seen the site before, we are holding a series of site meetings so you can meet the team and we can explain all you need to know.

Then you can go onto the site and choose somewhere that suits your needs. The next meeting is on Wednesday, 21 February, then 24 April and finally 19 June. All are at 2 pm at the Kings Court Hotel, Alcester, B49 5QQ.

If you want to see what space is left and who has already booked, then go the ‘useful documents’ menu in the exhibitor section of the website where you can see the maps and exhibitor list.

Forestry Journal:

Online, advance tickets are going well, as are bookings for our expanded campsite, which is even closer to the show than before. 

We continue to work hard to bring in additional sponsorship so we can run even more events. We hope to stage a new, fast and exciting tree-climbing competition.

This will be different to other climbing competitions you might have seen before and will be far more attractive to spectators. Situated in the very heart of the showground, it will be a high-profile event for both individuals and two-person teams.

We really want to run the APF and UK Loggers Chainsaw championships and you may have seen our call for sponsors elsewhere. Both these events need sponsorship, so if you would like to get involved and get some very high-profile publicity and exposure for your company, please get in touch.

We are delighted that, once again, we are partnering with the Royal Forestry Society to run our educational visits programme. At APF 2022, their learning and outreach manager Becky Wilkinson and her team did a fantastic job to get hundreds of schoolchildren to the show on organised visits.

This was to show them what happens in a modern working woodland, learn about trees and timber and highlight possible career opportunities. It was noticeable that the RFS was receiving many enquiries from young people about careers in the forest and arboricultural industries. This is good news given we are constantly hearing about fears of a lack of trained people coming into the industry.

We will be addressing this need at APF 2024 and not only will there be opportunities for the younger generation to have guided tours but there will also be one-to-one advice available for school-leavers and college graduates looking for career advice and details of the various apprenticeships and graduate leaver schemes available.

Education is something all of us involved in the APF show are very keen to encourage. We provide a bursary, which is available to schools to cover transport costs to get the children to the show as school budgets are tight and few have the resources to fund external visits without help. We want to make their visit exciting and memorable. We are looking into the possibility of providing a climbing wall so they can have a go and take the first steps at becoming an arborist and see if they have got a head for heights.

Other news is that we have sourced some lovely large-dimension redwood for the A W Jenkinson and Tilhill European chainsaw carving championships. We have had a flood of entries from carvers already for this year’s competition and it is going to be hard to select the final 25. There are many entries from carvers who have not competed before, from Poland, Romania and Germany, including Sylvia Itzen who came fourth in the A Cut Above carving competition on TV last year behind the eventual winner, Sam Bowsher.

After eight years our climbing poles have been deemed unfit for purpose, so we will be bringing two new ones in from Longleat estate. Look out for photos and videos on our social media about how you fell, load and transport 100-ft Douglas fir poles to site. 

Forestry Journal:

If anyone has any use for two old, very hard, large-dimension, straight but otherwise sound 100-ft Douglas logs please get in touch.

Next month I will be able to update you on our next site meeting and the new exhibitors. 

If you have any queries or questions about APF 2024, or want to get involved, please get in touch. Susie or myself will be happy to help.

For more information on APF 2024 visit, email Ian at or call 01428 72354.