UKFCG produce a regular e-NEWS letter reporting on industry applicable news items relevant to FSC forest certification, compliance and forestry issues in the UK. E-news has includes regular updates and information from FISA. The news letter keeps members informed of progress within UKFCG, group members, size of the group and future developments. A copy of recent UKFCG e-NEWS can be downloaded by clicking on the links.



FIRST AID  [UKWAS 5.4.1, FISA Guide 802 Emergency Planning]

What should a first-aid box in the workplace contain?

The decision on what to provide will be influenced by the findings of the first-aid needs assessment. There are numerous ‘off the shelf’ options to purchase or refer to HSE’s leaflet Basic advice on first aid at work,   British Standard BS 8599 provides further information on the contents of workplace first-aid kits, the contents should reflect the outcome of the first-aid needs assessment.  More advice is given in HSE’s free leaflet: First aid at work: your questions answered.

How often should the contents of first-aid boxes be replaced?

Although there is no specified review timetable, many items, particularly sterile ones, are marked with expiry dates. They shouldbe replaced by the dates given and expired items disposed of safely. In cases where sterile items have no dates, it would be advisable to check with the manufacturers to find out how long they can be kept. For non-sterile items without dates, it is a matter of judgement, based on whether they are fit for purpose.

OVERHEAD POWER LINES  [UKWAS 1.1.2 & 5.4.1 – FISA Guide 804]

During recent surveillance audits we are pleased to note a generally high standard of compliance with FISA guide 804 Electricity at Work : Forestry.  Occasional lapses have been noted on some sites in respect of inadequate goalposts and warning signs not showing (or illegible)maximum safe height– This information should also be clearly displayed inside the cab of all machines working near overhead powerlines.

The following ‘hot-off the press’ circular from FISA is most relevant. 

Company fined after worker killed by overhead power line strike. 

After the hearing, HSE inspector Samantha Wells said “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure to implement safe systems of work and to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.”

HSE Press release at

Wire Watcher Overhead Powerline Detection System Field Test Report

The Forest Research Technical Development Report, TDJR201 is attached to this email. The wire watcher equipment proved reliable and consistent in test, please read the report as it gives a lot of detail to the use of Wire Watcher System use, and offers a way to help identify overhead power lines in forestry.

The report can also be downloaded from the Site Safety section of the FISA Safety Library –

TIMBER STACK HEIGHTS [UKWAS 1.1.2, 2.15.1, 3.1.1, 5.2.1 & 5.4.1, FISA Guide 503, FISA Forest Haulage Safety Manual]

Surveillance audits are still finding too many instances of infringement despite well reported instances of loss of life and recent FISA safety bulletin concerning collapse of a timber stack.  UKFCG expects compliance with all aspects of the above noted FISA guidance documents and UKWAS requirements.

In summary:

  • Timber stacks should be specifically referenced in the site/operational risk assessment
  • stacks heights should not exceed product length and should not exceed the height for a haulier to be able to see across the top of the stack.
  • Stack heights in excess of the above parameters shall be subject of an additional documented risk assessment which clearly states the upper height limit. The decision shall be justified in writing, agreed by all parties.  Additional signs may be required or the stacking site enclosed with barriers or hazard warning tape.
  • All workers on site shall be provided with a copy of the revised risk assessment
  • Managers shall ensure that operational monitoring is recorded and makes specific reference to stack heights.





Cypermethrin – NOT ALLOWED for use as top-up spray in FSC certified forests, but may be used for pre-treatment of trees supplied from the nursery.

Acetamaprid – Although classified by FSC as a Highly Hazardous Chemical [HHC] this product can be used for top-up spraying on site and for pre-treatment of trees supplied from the nursery.

All use of chemicals must comply with the Law, relevant Codes of Practice and requirements defined in section 3.4 of UKWAS.  Chemical reduction strategy is required for all certified forests and a documented Integrated Pest Management Strategy [IPMS] must be adhered to, decision making process must be implemented before chemicals are used.  Ensure that contract documentation, risk assessments, COSHH assessments, emergency plans, FEPA records and evidence of qualifications and insurance are kept on file for certification audits.

[Example IPMS/Decision making flow chart, COSHH assessment and FEPA records template available from UKFCG on request].

In response to UKFCG’s question to FSC UK we have received the following reply dated 18.03.19: The revised Pesticides Policy was discussed last week by the FSC International board, so hopefully we will hear their decision soon. Unless things have changed radically from the last draft, the derogation system should now be a thing of the past, but any future use of HHPs in the UK will depend on environmental and social risk assessment and chemical-specific indicators in our national standard.That will obviously take some time to phase in.   As soon as we know what the transition arrangements are we will, of course, let you know.

UKFCG will in-turn keep all members informed of any requirements that are placed on chemical use.

Beavers will be added to the list of European Protected Species of Animals and will be protected under Scottish law. From 01 May 2019 shooting will only be allowed under licence, this will be managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). All licenses will be issued in accordance with the law on European Protected Species.
If you are interested in managing beaver activity you can email or telephone 01463 725 364.


We are asking all UKFCG members to review data and prepare maps(or add to existing constraints maps) in respect of water supplies to take account of new UKWAS indicator 5.1.1. b).  A precautionary approach shall be adopted in relation to water supplies.  We do not believe it is possible to adopt a precautionary approach if you do not know the location of water supplies.  Boreholes, wells, surface water collection, pipes, water catchment zones etc must be mapped.

Please check your forest using the Scotland private water supply interactive map

Please note: the maps are being continually updated and we are aware of some private supplies which do not appear on the map at this time – local enquiries should be made with stakeholder neighbours.

We have made enquiries regarding equivalent interactive maps for England and Wales but we have not been able to locate a similar service.  Please let us know if you are aware of any search facilities of this nature.

TREE HEALTH [UKWAS 1.1.7, 2.15.1]

Pest and disease information on the move

FC advice and guidance on tree pests and diseases is being transferred to the Forest Research website. This follows the transfer of FC business information to GOV.UK, necessitating a new home for specific tree pest and disease tools and resources.

This means information on specific tree pests and diseases will be available

Some of the first topics to be transferred over include oak processionary mothand Phytophthora ramorum.

Tree Alert, FC’s tree pest and disease reporting tool, is also now hosted on the Forest Research website, at
Forest Managers whose organisations have websites with links to our pest and disease information should get these links redirected. Further information is available from the Plant Health Service.

New measures have been introduced to protect the country against the tree pest known as the larger eight-toothed spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus), which was discovered in a woodland in Kent in December 2018. Legislation has been laid in Parliament that restricts the movement of susceptible spruce material (including live trees over 3 metres and wood with bark) within 50km of the outbreak sites where Ips typographuswas found. This legislation is a necessary precaution to prevent the spread of this pest further afield and remains in place until further notice but will be kept under review.

Larger eight-toothed spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) found in Kent



Sallachy Woodlands

Douglas and Angus Estates

Hollandmey Rosal