Forestry project guide: Ground protection

In the first part of our Forestry Project Guide, we looked at ground preparation before beginning construction projects in wooded areas.

We touched on ground protection in forestry projects – but let’s look in more detail at the different reasons why ground protection mats are an essential part of setting up a forestry construction project or other substantial works in woodlands.

Ground stability

Ground protection mats don’t just protect the ground; they also protect your vehicles and equipment from damage due to uneven or unstable ground.

In woodlands this can be a major challenge, as you may need to work on and around tree roots, and on soils that are home to hidden animal burrows and other underground hollows.

Ground protection mats give you a stable and even surface to work on, improving access and reducing the risk of breaking through into burrows hidden beneath.


By creating a solid barrier between the earth and your machinery, ground protection mats reduce the risk of contaminating the surface of the soil with spilled oil, hydraulic fluids and other chemicals.

Any minor spills can be dealt with quickly, before they have chance to penetrate through to the land below – and saving you from costly clean-up operations later.

Because timber ground protection mats have low intrinsic value, any that are damaged by a spill before it can be cleaned up can easily be recycled and replaced ready for the next job.

Habitat protection

Finally, when working in wooded areas, it’s very likely that you will be working on land that is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

While it’s impossible to avoid all disruption, ground protection mats make it easier to leave ‘without a trace’ once your work is completed.

That means less damage to habitats, leaving behind a healthier forest and happier wildlife – and that can only be a good thing.

Find out more

Read our previous instalment Forestry Project Guide: Ground Preparation to find out more about your obligations under the Forestry Commission’s Environmental Impact Assessments for Woodland scheme.

To enquire about timber mats for sale for forestry project ground protection, or to hire ground protection mats for a forestry project, contact Timbermat today.

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