Tilhill Forestry is launching a training video on diffuse pollution for its contractors to improve environmental protection awareness and to help keep pollution prevention in forestry operations high on the Company’s agenda.

A Tilhill Project Team has worked with the Airborne Lens company to capture high quality aerial drone footage and engaging material for the training video which will be shown to its contractors as part of an online training tool.  The video will be supported by a series of multi-choice questions for completion.  All machine operatives will be expected to carry out the training before working on Tilhill Forestry sites.

Clean water is an important part of our natural environment and diffuse pollution is the release of pollutants from a range of activities, including harvesting and forestry operations, that could affect the water catchment in both rural and urban environments.  It is therefore important to make sure that all contractors are aware of the effects and how to avoid diffuse pollution events when carrying out their operations.

Although sources of diffuse pollution are often minor, collectively it can result in significant environmental damage at the catchment scale. This is why Tilhill Forestry has chosen to invest in prevention through the training video.

Nicola Abbatt, Tilhill Forestry’s Environment Manager and project lead said:

“The new training is focused on ensuring that all plant operators on our sites have the necessary knowledge of diffuse pollution and its impact on our water environment and are fully aware of requirements for managing pollution risks throughout site works.  We have had input on the training from SEPA, Forestry Commission Scotland and our contractors.  We are working with others in the forestry industry including environmental regulators with the aim for it to be the industry norm for all forestry contractors to receive this environmental protection training.”

John Gallacher, Tilhill’s Senior Ecologist, who provides in-house advice and support to the forestry and harvesting business, said of the new training video:

“This is the next step following our programme of diffuse pollution training courses which we have delivered across the UK over the last few years.  It keeps Tilhill Forestry at the forefront of tackling this issue which can have serious financial and reputational implications for both ourselves and our contractors.”

SEPA’s industry lead for Forestry John Gorman, commenting at the filming day earlier this month said:

“SEPA welcomes and appreciates the tremendous effort that Tilhill Forestry as a Company has made in producing good quality internal documentation and coordinating an intensive programme of staff and contractor workshop training days in order to raise the issue of good forestry practices to tackle diffuse pollution.  In addition, Tilhill staff attend working group meetings to contribute to industry factsheets, booklets, stickers and to raise key issues with SEPA on several Policy fronts. This strive for excellence is supported by the production of this training video which is aimed at taking the workshop training to a next level and into the contractor’s own workplaces.”

The diffuse pollution training video is planned for release early next year. The expectation is that machine operators must complete and pass the training before working on Tilhill Forestry managed properties or carrying out plant operations for us