Ever the Weather

In this country we are well known for being obsessed with the weather

In this country we are well known for being obsessed with the weather. Meet a stranger and need some instant small talk, the weather is certain common ground and a favourite fall back.

We often talk about it in this bulletin, the challenging conditions and diffuse pollution mostly over winter and sunburn in summer. However the past 12 months it has mostly been about the worse end of our weather spectrum. We are currently setting the record for the number of named storms in a season this winter, and rainfall totals for 2023 were way above average for almost all of the country.  The poor weather gives rises to challenges for us on many fronts.

• Diffuse Pollution. A key concern for us at any time of year, but especially through the winter months. We have invested a great deal in improving our systems and training. Whilst we have still had incidents this year, we have seen the level of awareness, interest, reporting and being prepared to stop from our contractors massively increase. A huge thank you to you all in supporting us to manage this risk.
Sites don’t generally deteriorate in an afternoon, so we ask you all to apply the principles in our online Diffuse Pollution training, and stop and report as conditions deteriorate.

• Windblow. Whilst we have had a record setting year for storms this year, we so far haven’t seen the level of damage brought about by Storm Arwen in late November 2021. Not only does windblow represent loss for the woodland owners, but makes marking out felling boundaries, OHPL safety zones etc more difficult and most significantly hugely increases risks to operators who have to clear the blown trees. The first option must always to be to use mechanised means.

• Soft Ground. Even when the ground isn’t going to cause diffuse pollution, soft ground can increase the risk of machine sliding on a slope or overturning. Both are circumstances we experienced on sites over the past month.

• Access to site. Heavy snow can make access to site difficult for workers and