General Guidance for Conservation Tasks

We aim to make our tasks informative and enjoyable – your personal safety is important to us and these guidelines are designed to ensure your task passes without incident. All our conservation leaders have received appropriate first aid training and a first aid kit is always available on site.

NB. By logging into this site you agree to follow these guidelines.

What about existing medical conditions?

We recommend that you make us aware of any medical conditions that could affect you during an event. It is particularly important to let us know if you are diabetic or carry an EpiPen.

What should I wear? 

Trousers and long sleeved tops protect you from cuts and scratches and reduce access points for ticks. The ground is often uneven, muddy and there are many trip hazards, so footwear should have a good grip, be waterproof and offer your ankle some support. Knee pads are also a good idea.

If we have a fire, be aware that falling ash and sparks burn holes in clothes, particularly fleece material. You may like to think about tying long hair back or wearing a hat to protect a receding hair line.

You will be outdoors all the time, so wear your thermals, sun hat or waterproofs as appropriate to the weather conditions on the day. In addition, depending on the task, you may like to bring insect repellent or sunscreen with you.

What equipment will I use?

We supply all equipment. Generally on most tasks we use bow saws and loppers. Please do not bring your own tools without prior approval.

There will be chainsaw operators working in close proximity on some tasks  -please keep a safe distance away from them. They will not be able to hear you and distracting them could cause an accident. All our chainsaw operators have approved qualifications.

What about Ticks?

Ticks are prevalent in the New Forest and more active during warm weather. You could be working away from footpaths and brushing past vegetation, so it is possible you will pick up a tick or two. Please check yourself when you get home, bearing in mind they like damp dark places. Be aware that there is a high incidence of Lyme disease in the Forest and its symptoms are varied. Please click here to find out more.

What safety clothing should I wear?

We will issue you with a pair of appropriate gloves for use on the day which must be worn when using saws and loppers. You are welcome to wear your own safety gloves if you prefer.

Protective safety glasses will be available and we strongly recommend that these are worn on tasks as there are likely to be branches etc. at eye level where you are working. Please ask for a pair if you wish to wear them.

How fit do I need to be?

Our volunteers come from across the age ranges and some will be fitter/stronger than others. Accordingly you should always work within your capability – do not feel under pressure to keep working and stop if you feel that you need a rest. Conservation work is a good way to keep fit.

If you have any medical conditions of which the task leaders need to be aware (i.e diabetes, allergic reactions, etc.), please have a quiet word with them after the task has started.

Finally, we strongly advise that your tetanus injections are up to date.

What should I bring with me?

Bring lunch, a hot or cold drink and snacks. In hot weather please ensure that you take in plenty of liquids.

You may also wish to bring along a folding chair or stool for coffee and lunch breaks as the ground is often wet. We allow plenty of time for these breaks as our events are also a social occasion where we hope you will learn more about the New Forest from our event leaders and your colleagues.

Please do not bring dogs to our events, without prior approval.

Where do we meet?

The meeting point is shown in the Events Diary. Please be at the meeting point at least five minutes before the start of the task in order that we may start on time. Once the task has started vehicles often move away from the meeting point and into Pondhead Inclosure and if you arrive late you may not be able to locate the task.

Parking is limited both at the meeting point and also in the inclosure so we ask that some cars are left at the meeting point. We also ask that those who drive into the inclosure provide lifts for those who don’t. Please only drive on gravel tracks.

The event leader will lead you to the task site. Seatbelts should be worn when driving through Pondhead as forest tracks can be rutted. There is a 15 mph speed limit.


Follow the task leaders guidance, they are there to look after you and make sure you enjoy your day. Each task will have been subject to a risk assessment so please pay particular attention to any health and safety advice given by the task leader.

Have fun and enjoy your day.