Forestry is serious work. That's why we’re committed to making it safe and responsible. To us, that means looking after our employees' health, safety and wellbeing. It also means caring for those we work with, our visitors and the communities we work in.

We want to be an example to all organisations working in the forest environment. We take pride in our health, safety and welfare culture. In Forest Enterprise Scotland we aim to:

  • Eliminate work accidents for National Forest Estate workers
  • Sustain a healthy working environment that supports physical and mental health
  • Promote healthier lifestyles, benefitting workforce health
  • Foster a strong health, safety and welfare culture with those we work with
  • Reduce public accidents from recreational forest use

Protecting forestry workers

Forestry is a high risk industry. Every year workers are killed or injured at work. Lots more suffer from work-related illness. We want to reduce this impact on workers. We’re founder members of FISA, the forestry industry’s safety body. We work with our FISA partners to promote successful health safety management, develop good practice guidance and help drive sector improvements.

Looking after our staff

We care deeply about our staff and recognise the importance of taking a proactive approach to improving their health and wellbeing at work. We’re driving forward an ambitious improvement programme that puts health, safety and wellbeing at the heart of our organisation. We work in partnership with staff and trade unions through a network of Scottish safety committees. This empowers employees to actively take part in improving standards.

Caring for visitors

We want all our visitors to go home safe and well. Using the Visitor Safety in the Countryside Guiding principles we will provide opportunities for members of the public to enjoy woodlands safely, without impacting their sense of freedom and adventure.

Resources

Throughout our site you’ll find practical, common sense guidance on keeping yourself safe in the forest. We’ll tell you about significant work in our forests and what you need to do to avoid danger.

For NFE workers, you’ll find industry guidance on the FISA and HSE websites. We’ll also publish our own guidance to support everyone working in the forest

We encourage local people and communities to get involved with the use and management of National Forest Estate woodlands. We actively engage with communities and work in partnership with them on a wide range of projects and activities.

Three women planting a tree at Glen Affric's community woodland

Community guidance

We've produced guidance for community projects and activities on the National Forest Estate (PDF 259KB).

The guide is for groups of people in the same local area, or groups of people with a common interest, who want to run activities, use or get involved in managing land or buildings on the estate. It provides advice on what you'll need in place, how to make your initial approach and what you can expect from us.

A guide to Community Agreements

If you have read our overview of community projects and would like some information on what agreement may be right for your project, have a look at our guide:

This guide contains some key elements of different agreements to help you decide which might be best suited for your project. We are aware that every community project is different, so do contact us if you need further guidance.

We have also developed some case studies which provide examples of different agreements and how they work:

Questions and next steps

Once you have read the guidance and want to take your project forward, or if you have any questions, get in touch with your local district office.

Related information

You might also be interested in:

The following maps detail the areas where work will be required at some point over the course of the next 10 to 15 years.

Full A82 project area:

A82 project area

A82 project area - Invermoriston:

a82 project area invermoriston

A82 project area - Invergarry:

a82 projec tarea invergarry

A82 project area - Ballachulish:

a82 project area ballachulish

For further information on the project, please contact -

Alexander J Macleod
A82 Project Officer
Forest Enterprise Scotland Head Office
1 Highlander Way
Inverness Business Park
Inverness, IV2 7GB

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 0300 067 6000

Local enquiries

For local enquiries about A82 / Glen Righ operations – call Forestry Commission Scotland’s Lochaber District Office on 0300 067 6870.

Traffic management enquiries

For real-time travel information visit www.trafficscotland.org

Media enquiries

Media enquiries to Forestry Commission Scotland press office on 0300 067 6507

Throughout the course of the A82 project the work we need to do falls into five categories which impact to varying degrees on the A82. These are;

Conventional harvesting

This will involve our existing skilled and competent teams using our normal harvesting systems and machinery to fell trees. On less steep slopes, harvester teams (who cut the trees) and forwarder teams (who move them to forest roadside for pick up) will use “wheeled” machines. On steeper slopes a skyline winch and chainsaw teams will do the work. They will also use tracked harvesters, which can operate on steeper ground. 

Non-conventional harvesting

This will involve felling trees using winch systems and machinery that is not readily available in the UK. The steepness of the slope and the large size of the trees means that areas where we need to do this are classed as extreme – trees as heavy as 10 tonnes (at Loch Ness side) will need to be hauled 600m up slope to the nearest forest road. This work can only be done by highly skilled operators using specialist ‘skyline’ equipment like Duffy Skylining

Skyline systems

Thirty or forty years ago many people working in hill forests were familiar with skyline or “cable way” systems but the amount of skyline harvesting carried out in Scotland has declined and fewer people have direct experience of operating skylines. Forestry skyline systems in the UK generally use a stationary winch and series of wire cables and pulleys to move fully or partially suspended trees or logs to the roadside for processing and stacking.

During the early years of the last century there was little or no cableway extraction in Britain although tractor mounted winches did some timber extraction on ground that was too difficult for horse extraction; where tractors were used the winches "skidded" the trees over the rough ground. Some experimental cableway work was done in the 1950s but it wasn’t economic and horses and tractors prevailed until cableway systems got better and more effecient. They were increasingly in use through the 60s and 70s until greatly improved skidding tractors and forwarders capable of tackling easier hill terrain became available; from this point on the use of cableways began to diminish.

Cableway extraction diminished even more during the 1980s when a difficult timber market forced most forest managers to focus on low-cost tractor logging - and thinning ceased in many hill forests. A brief revival for cableway systems in the 90s was short-lived thanks to a significant fall in timber prices that made much cableway logging uneconomical.

Cableway work requires special skills, a good understanding of the system and an ability to assess and deal with the requirements of each individual situation. Training is essential for efficient and safe cableway work. It also requires skilled chainsaw operators who can fell large trees in difficult conditions, however, because of widespread mechanised harvesting, they too are in short supply.

There are two main types of skyline system – the low level, which raises the front of the load just enough to allow it free passage over obstacles, and the fully or partially suspended skyline systems, which uses a locking carriage to hold the load firmly in place and carry it over obstacles entirely.

Fell to Recycle (FTR)

This involves felling young trees that are then chipped or simply left in the forest. This work will be carried out mainly by chainsaw, although machines may be used on less steep ground. The aim is to fell areas of conifers whilst they are still relatively small and fairly easy to deal with.

Civil engineering

Before we can do any harvesting, a lot of civil engineering work is required. The forest road network needs to be upgraded and improved and our civil engineering teams will improve entrances into the forest, replace bridges, upgrade forest roads and build harvesting facilities such as tracks and stacking bays.

Geotechnical

This involves assessing the condition of the hill face and designing, installing and working on measures to secure slope stability and the safe removal of rock in support of timber harvesting on the steep ground. Appropriate measures include rock catch fences, netting, bolts (to secure the rock face), anchors and geosynthetics (sheets of plastic mesh - grids and cell - to help strengthen the hill face or drain soils). This has been a main feature of the operations at Glen Righ and these types of operations will also be required elsewhere in the Great Glen.

During the weekend of 9-12 December 2011 a section of the A82 north of the Corran Ferry was closed to allow the safe removal of a potentially dangerous 250 tonne rock - map showing location (PDF 1MB) - that geotechnical engineers had advised us was unstable and that needed to be removed in a controlled way as soon as possible.

a82-problem-rock