Safety and Security

Woodlife – Hatfield Forest Safety and Security updated – September 2021

All Woodlife staff members are fully trained and conversant with health and safety, risk assessment and first aid. All staff have completed a wilderness first aid course. Please seek advice if you have any questions or queries. 

At the commencement of the course your attention will be brought to various aspects of health and safety and risks associated with attending a course in the Forest. Please ensure that you fully understand the instructions and the advice provided. 

Please ensure you fill in the emergency contact form at the commencement of the course. You may request the form at the end of the course, otherwise it will be destroyed.

We are privileged to run our courses on land owned by the National Trust. As such, we must abide by their instructions as well as our own. This advice is provided for your safety, comfort and for you to fully enjoy your stay in the Forest. We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation. 


Please ensure you read the kit list and bring appropriate clothes and equipment for the season and the particular course you are attending. Please pay attention to any additional equipment or items you may be required to have for the particular course in your course instructions.

Please ensure you bring the following compulsory items:

  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Face covering
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Small torch
  • Water containers

You should bring personal water containers; one for drinking (suggested 1 litre) and one of at least 5 litres. Drinking water will be available throughout the course. The water will be dispensed by a member of staff. You must use your own containers.

Please ensure you are fit and healthy enough to complete the course. If you have displayed COVID symptoms or been in contact with anyone displaying COVID symptoms or confirmed positive within 14 days of the course, you should not attend the course. In this case please contact us to discuss re-scheduling your course. 

Woodlife staff will check the above and have the authority of the National Trust to deny access to the site if the above is not complied with.

COVID Updates

We will comply with any current governemt guidelines in place at the time of running our courses.

Health and Hygiene 

All course participants and staff will be requested to maintain social distancing throughout the course. Equipment should not be shared between participants. Participants in close-proximity to each other will be required to wear a face-covering.

Toilet facilities are a short walk away from the site – approximately 1⁄2 mile (10 mins walk) adjacent to the Shell house café. No other toilet area is to be used in the Forest. The facilities are toilet and hand-wash only. Woodlife have no control over the hygiene of the toilet facility. Please ensure you take necessary personal hygiene precautions when using this facility.

Ensure food waste is deposited well away from the main camp and individual camp areas. An area is allocated for this purpose. Please keep food in a sealed container or bag. Do not leave food on the forest floor as this will attract rodents into the camp area. 

If you feel unwell during the course or begin to display COVID symptoms you will be obliged to leave the course. In this instance we will refund or reschedule your course.

You will be required to sanitize your hands at regular intervals during the course. This will be under instruction from a staff member.


Drinking water will be provided. Tap water from the toilets is unsuitable for drinking. Your personal water containers will be filled by a member of staff. You will not be allowed to handle any water containers belonging to Woodlife. Washing and washing up bowls will be provided to you for the duration of the course. Water will be issued to you by a Woodlife staff member.

General hazards 

Please ensure that you slow down and walk around the camp and Forest areas. There are uneven surfaces and animal holes, which may not be obviously visible. You may also trip over covered tree debris. Low branches at eye height may also be a hazard. Be especially aware of parts of old, rusting and protruding iron fence posts at ankle height on the ancient wood banks. These may be difficult to see and can be very sharp. 

You will be shown an area in which to set up your individual camp. Ensure that you do not set up under dead branches or next to unstable trees. 

We discourage the use of white light except in cases of emergency. Please be mindful of blinding people with powerful light during the hours of darkness. 

Please be aware of the lake area water hazard especially during the hours of darkness.

Emergency First Aid 

A first aid box and a fire blanket are located at the base-camp administration area under the parachute. This is for emergency use only. A location map and emergency details are also located in this area. If you discover an emergency situation IMMEDIATELY SHOUT FOR HELP. Do not try to deal with the situation on your own. Woodlife staff members are trained to deal with outdoor incidents.


There will normally be a central fire in the administration area under the parachute. Please be aware of this hazard. Please do not throw any rubbish onto the fire. You may cook on the campfire if permitted for the relevant course. No other open fires are allowed in the Forest. You may use your own stove at your individual camp area. Always cook in the open. Be aware of dangerous fumes in tents and please be aware of fire hazard during dry weather. 

Sharp Tools 

You may use your own knife but only after a Woodlife staff member has examined it and only then after receiving a sharp tool safety brief. Axe use is not allowed on Woodlife courses unless special permission is obtained from a staff member. Please do not cut or remove live trees or foliage unless guided by a Woodlife staff member. 


Please place all rubbish into your own rubbish bag. You are responsible for your own rubbish to avoid potential cross-contamination. No rubbish will be put into the fire. Your rubbish bag will be “double-bagged” and disposed of at the end of the course. Please ensure your own area is cleared before leaving the site. 

Collin’s Coppice West site 

Please be aware that our base-camp area may also be used by the National Trust and members of the public. Please assist Woodlife staff in keeping the area neat and tidy throughout the course. We adhere to a strict “leave no trace” policy when vacating the Forest after a course. Please assist by collecting firewood out-with the immediate area to prevent the area becoming barren. 


Parking is at the National Trust’s Estate Office car park. The car park is locked but is accessible from the main road. Neither Woodlife or the National Trust cannot accept liability for any damage to, or theft of or from any vehicle. Please ensure that any valuable items at your individual camp areas are secured when you are not present. You may leave items with a Woodlife staff member who will be at base-camp for the duration of the course.

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