Forestry project guide: Vehicle accessibility
In the last part of our Forestry Project Guide, we looked at ground protection as part of a substantial forestry construction project in woodland areas.
Vehicle accessibility is an important element in forestry construction projects and is achievable through a variety of methods, using temporary access roadways and forestry mats.
Timber mats, used to create a forest access road, use eco-friendly materials to create solid temporary roadways and paths and can also cover any small channels dug as part of the work.
They are often used as a temporary solution on wet ground or where the vehicle tracks might damage the grass, car park or paths below.
Good quality bog mats will give you years and even decades of access, with only some simple maintenance needed to keep them safe from damage.
Ensuring vehicle safety
You can use temporary roadway mats to designate access routes, showing vehicles where ground conditions are safest to drive and keeping pedestrians from the road.
You can use your temporary trackway to create safe pedestrian walkways to provide the safest access to your forestry construction sites, doing so in a time and cost-effective way.
There are also specific construction risks associated with the use of heavy machinery, equipment, and supplies, which ground mats can create a staging area for.
Maintaining temporary roadways
Temporary road mats should be kept free from debris, oil, and grease so that they do not become slippery, all dangers that a temporary road surface made from timber mats help avoid.
Accepting that some disruption is inevitable, ground mats make it easier to leave ‘without a trace’ once your work is finished, protecting habitats and forests.
If the temporary driveway mats become damaged, it can be replaced by hiring or buying new mats and tropical hardwood mats reduce this risk from the outset.
Find out more
Read our previous instalments: Forestry Project Guide: Ground Preparation and Ground Protection to find out more about your obligations under the Forestry Commission’s Environmental Impact Assessments for Woodland scheme.