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.

ALTHOUGH we are still getting frosts – and no doubt snow in some far-flung places – many companies seem to have come out of winter hibernation and realised there are only seven months to go until APF 2024.

As a result, we have been deluged with exhibitor forms, which is great. Our very latest was from a very old friend of ours, Bruce Salisbury from Severnside Safety, who hasn’t been at the show for a while but whose history with us dates back to 1984. Welcome back, Bruce.

The recent rush of bookings has meant that we are nearly 80-per-cent booked on the demo circuit. No, that’s not just marketing hype. Look at the maps on the website if you don’t believe me.

Forestry Journal:

Advance tickets and camping are going well, with online bookings coming in daily.

The only glitch with this is that our accounts guru Susie noticed that despite the evidence of these sales on our website we hadn’t actually had any 
money into our bank account. Subsequent contact with our provider Worldpay proved difficult due to endless ‘press 1 for this, press 2 for that’, being bounced around various departments and then being cut off. Eventually contact was made and we were told that they had all our money, which was good, but they weren’t going to give it to us unless they received verification from us that we were not drug dealers or money launderers!


We politely pointed out that that they had been sent all this evidence five months ago. On checking they conceded they had actually received it, but hadn’t bothered to do anything with it or updated our account. Our missing funds are now promised to arrive imminently. Sometimes, in this age of artificial intelligence, it is hard to credit why most customer service helplines are so useless.

I can promise you that if you ring the APF office you will speak to either Susie or myself without pressing any other buttons and we will hopefully be able to give you a quick and accurate answer to your enquiry. Anyway, I will now get off that particular soapbox.

Some excellent news since last month is that our call for sponsors for the APF Tree-Climbing Competition has been successful and we now have three sponsors – Arbjobs, Marlow Ropes and Teufelberger – who have kindly come in to enable us to run this new competition. We are working with John Trenchard, who has a huge amount of experience in running climbing competitions, to put together the format and rules. It will be a fast and furious competition against the clock to test competitors, and will be exciting to watch, with some great prizes. Watch this space for more details and instructions about how to enter.

One of the moans we get is the lack of demonstrations by some of the big harvesters and forwarders at the show. For this we have to rely on the ‘big boys’. However, we are all well aware of the expense of haulage nowadays, and the cost of getting big machines to site is huge. I remember one of the big players telling me a few years ago that their haulage bill alone for the show was around £40,000.

We want to ensure our visitors can see these machines at work and are very keen to stage the UK Forwarder Driving Championships again. We have set aside a large arena with great visibility for the competition. All we need now is someone to run it for us and provide a machine or two. It is an ideal opportunity for a company to both run the competition and have their stand next to it to promote their equipment. It doesn’t even have to be one of the big manufacturers, but someone who uses or has access to machines. If you think you might be able to help us out, please give me a ring to chat about the details. We will do everything we can to get you along.

Forestry Journal: Thousands of visitors are expected to head to APF 2024 Thousands of visitors are expected to head to APF 2024 (Image: FJ/Jack Haugh)

By the time you read this we will have had our second site meeting and I will bring you an update on this next month. In addition to new exhibitors having the chance to look at the site and choose their space, it is an opportunity for some of our contractors to come along and talk to us. We will be meeting our new caterers, Streamline, to discuss their plans for new and varied food options, and our IT provider SWAP will talk about laying fibre-optic cables on site to improve Wi-Fi provision to our exhibitors and visitors.

Time just seems to speed up, with a never-ending list of jobs to do.

See you next month!

For more information on APF 2024 visit, email Ian at or call 01428 723545.