COVID-19 Methodology Statement & Action Plan

For the operation of Courses

Effective from 5th March 2021

Statement to clients.

Your safety is, as always of our paramount concern.

Woodland Ways Ltd has taken all the steps as detailed by the government to make our courses COVID-Secure.

We are taking a completely open approach in how we communicate the actions we have, and will continue to take, in the changes we have made to our courses.

Detailed below is what you can expect from us when undertaking any number of courses within England, these will be updated as and when government guidelines change and are reviewed at minimum weekly.

We are currently waiting for guidance specific to courses running in Scotland.

We are currently awaiting further lifting of restrictions and in country details with regards to overseas expeditions.

Current courses – England – COVID-Secure in line with the law

  • As at 29th March – Day courses will resume – all formally organised outdoor activities can return. Attendees will be placed into groups of 6 and remain in those groups for the duration of the day course. For example, a course of 18 will be split into 3 groups of 6 or less.
    • Outdoor toilet facilities can be accessed by clients but you will be asked to sanitise them after every use.
    • Preparation of game (raw meat) will continue as normal but all cooking and serving of cooked food will be carried out by Woodland Ways staff to avoid cross-contamination.
  • As at 12th April – overnight and longer duration courses will resume – as self-contained accommodation is used along with you’re own personal sleeping setup.
    • Outdoor toilet facilities can be accessed by clients but you will be asked to sanitise them after every use.
    • Preparation of game (raw meat) will continue as normal but all cooking and serving of cooked food will be carried out by Woodland Ways staff to avoid cross-contamination.

All courses will operate within government approved numbers, these are different than “Social” gatherings as you are entering a Covid Secure Workplace.

ENGLAND

We have taken the decision to split customers into groups as we understand this to be the legal requirement in England. We have consulted with a large number of Outdoor Organisations, National Governing Bodies, Trade Associations, Members of Parliament and our peers. Bushcraft is not in the list of sectors that must remain closed, however there is no specific guidance for Bushcraft companies.

We have also consulted with the Health and Safety Executive who confirmed that the numbers of people allowed on a course falls outside of their remit. Although we have a duty of care to clients who visit our workplace under The Health & Safety at Work Act which would not restrict the number of clients we could have on our premises, we believe the Government Guidance on gathering outside supersedes the requirements of the Act.

We have therefore taken the advice that matches us closest from outdoor organisations. At this time we have used the following information to base our decision on:

  • Reopening businesses and venues in England – .gov web site. Published 24th February 2021

Link is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-businesses-and-venues-in-england

For ENGLAND and SCOTLAND

In the event of postponement by Woodland Ways of the course all participants can re-book within the next two years.

In the event of a client being uncomfortable attending a course due to COVID concerns, an offer is being made to re-attend at any point in the next two years

In the case of illness, a client will be offered to re-attend at any point in the next two years.

Courses Specific Covid 19 Methodology Statement

Operation: running of all education course activities within our own woodlands with adherence to government specific advice

Sites included:      

  • Appleton- Oxfordshire, England
  • Rowsley- Derbyshire, England
  • Little Brickhill- Bedfordshire, England

Attendance on the course

It is important for all clients that should you, or a member of your household, become or are already unwell with symptoms of coronavirus you should inform Woodland Ways Ltd immediately and should not travel to or attend your course. If you are at our venue already then you should cease activity immediately and alert a member of staff whilst taking steps to isolate and remove yourself.

If you are self-isolating as a result of Covid-19, Woodland Ways Ltd will forfeit its rights under our terms and conditions to deeming this a cancelation by the client and instead will provide you with a 2 year voucher to undertake that course, or a similar course, within that time frame from your original booking. We recognise these are unusual times, and we want you to book with the assurance that you will not lose your money. Woodland Ways Ltd reserves the right to request proof of self-isolation, (e.g. direction from the track and trace service undertaken by the NHS). Woodland Ways Ltd will review this forfeit of rights on a monthly basis.

What we expect of you, and what you can expect of us

Prior to the course

  1. Please ensure you have read the kit list and have all items with you. FAILURE TO BRING ANTI-BAC HAND GEL AND A PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT WILL RESULT IN YOU NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE COURSE.
  2. Your instructors will have changed into their uniform at the venue to minimise any risk of cross contamination, you may wish to consider doing the same if you are visiting shops/public spaces before the course

Meet and greet

  1. Group sizes will be set according to the guidance available as at the time of your course commencing.
  2. From the moment of stepping out of the car, we would request that all employees, sub-contractors, apprentices and clients at all times remain 2 metres apart unless you are from the same household – there should be no hand shaking, kissing, contact with members outside your household.
  3. You will be greeted by an instructor in a high vis jacket reminding you of your obligation to remain 2 metres distant from each other, once all clients have arrived the jacket will be removed
  4. Clients must complete the premedical questionnaire prior to arriving at the course and place the signed copy into the plastic wallet provided at the meeting point, confirming to the instructor that you have answered no to all medical questions and understand your responsibilities. Employees will not handle this paperwork for at least 72 hours and therefore we are asking you to be open to the fact that you have read it and have signed the document.
  5. Where possible employees, sub-contractors, apprentices and clients should not sit facing each other at any point from the start of the course, unless you are from the same household.
  6. You will be welcomed by the instructor and will be expected to have read the following safety brief:

Safety Brief

  • The course is designed to be fun and no one will be forced to do anything they do not wish to do.
    • Please leave gates as you find them once you have passed through.
    • Please take care over uneven ground within the woodlands
    • Please be aware of branches at eye height, particularly if you are walking behind someone or ducking down
    • Please respect the countryside and leave all livestock and machinery alone.
    • We will be working with fire throughout the weekend, therefore:
      • Please keep the area around the fire free from trip hazards.
      • The yellow bits are hot, as are the black bits and the white bits and sometimes even the green bits.
      • Any rubbish that can be burnt should be burnt.
      • If the rubbish cannot be burnt, e.g. metal or glass and plastics, this will need to be taken home with you.
    • Burns treatment is available within the 1st aid kit- your instructor will point this out to you
    • Please do not cut down anything without clearing it with the Instructors first. We manage the woodland for wildlife conservation and so pick and choose the appropriate material to take out.
    • There are diseases out here that you are exposed to, the chances are slim but are increased with being in this environment, they are
      • Orf Virus- so please avoid touching sheep’s wool.
      • Tetanus- if you are not up to date and cut yourself visit your GP
      • Water borne diseases such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Leptospirosis
      • Lyme’s Disease- transmitted by ticks. If you have a tick and are not comfortable removing it yourself then please speak to an Instructor. Current guidelines are to ideally use a tick removing tool, if you do not have one then just pull the tick out, even if you leave the head in. It is better to get a secondary infection than contract the disease. If you get concentric circles around the bite, or flu like symptoms, consult your GP who will administer anti-biotics. People do die from Lyme’s Disease.
      • Salmonella- we can avoid this by ensuring all food is thoroughly cooked and knifes are cleaned by initially wiping on moss, and then rinsed under the Jerri can which contains water with chlorine.
    • For small cuts you should have a first aid kit with you. For more serious injuries we have a first aid kit in camp and an accident book to record injuries in. All Instructors are first aid qualified. Please note due to COVID-19 our instructors have been told NOT to provide mouth to mouth resuscitation in case of collapse, but to undertake chest compressions only unless directed otherwise by the emergency services, further 1st aid treatments will be at the discretion of the instructor but may involve them telling you and guiding you how to treat the wound yourself.
    • Due to our remote location serious injury must be dealt with by an Instructor who will decide on the appropriate procedure.
    • If any medical information has changed since making your booking could you please advise an Instructor, all information will be kept confidential and we are interested in where your medication may be.
    • If lifting heavy items please bend with the knees and do not use the back, it is often safer to have two or more persons on the item however due to COVID-19 then this should only be with another person from your household.
    • Please note we have a no alcohol or drugs policy due to the nature of the work we do in terms of cutting tools, fire and locations
    • Please extinguish all cigarettes on the fire
    • We will teach you a large number of skills throughout the weekend, we would request that you do not then try and teach others. However please do relate experiences.
    • Due to COVID-19 No activity should take place that involves exertion within a 5-metre space of anyone else (e.g. fire bow)
  • A pegged display of 2 metres will be demonstrated

Once it has been agreed everyone is aware of the safety brief, you will then be directed to camp with the instructor, please ensure all vehicles are locked

On arrival in camp & for the remainder of your course

  • You will be provided with a demonstration on handwashing with no running/piped water, everyone will be requested to wash their hands.
  • For everyone there is a compulsory handwash every 2 hours during the teaching day, water is available for those who wish to handwash more. Handwashing must comply with our handwashing instructions which comply with UNICEF guidelines, a jug should be used to pour the water over the hands of the client into a collecting bowl underneath and then disposed of in a dedicated hole at the edge of camp.
  • Please note we have provided face guards for any member of staff who wishes to use them, please respect this if an instructor puts one on. This is in no detriment to how we view you; it is the instructor’s personal choice. We are however of the understanding that the outdoors is very low risk.
  • Each client will be issued with their own water supply, knife and saw for the duration of the course- these should not be handled by anyone else outside of your household. These tools will have been left fallow for 72 hours prior to your course commencing, or if a course has been held within this time frame the equipment will have been disinfected thoroughly.
  • Any further tools and or equipment that are used through the course (e.g. fire bow kit) should be picked up from the unused pile and placed in the used pile when you have finished with them. These will then either be left fallow for 72 hours or cleaned thoroughly before the next use. Hands should also be washed after each session.
  • In camps where there is a rustic table, we would request that clients do not use this area. The area will be disinfected after each use by an instructor.
  • All handheld equipment will be disinfected every two hours with the dedicated disinfectant spray, e.g. storage boxes by an instructor
  • If cleaning needs to take place following a known COVID potential case then the following guidelines will be followed by an instructor: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings
  • All staff & clients should avoid touching their face and if there is a cough or sneeze this should be done into a tissue and disposed of in the fire. If no tissue is available, it should be done into your arm
  • It is not practical to put up signage within the woodlands however the key messages of social distancing and cleaning will be enforced by the team if necessary. If there is a failure to adhere to social distancing measures, then we will have no choice but to remove you from the course.
  • In the toilet there is a blue roll and some spray disinfectant, before and after each use we would ask you to wipe down any contactable surface and burn the blue paper with the lighter provided, and then request that you wash your hands
  • In times of inclement weather paper towels/blue roll should be used for drying hands when weather does not allow for drying, and then disposed of, ideally in the fire.
  • You may notice that if there is a rare event where an item has to be passed to you, it may be placed on the ground for you to pick up, this is to ensure social distancing. All instructors are washing their hands within a 2-hour time frame also.
  • We are requesting that clients do not travel on public transport to the woodlands where possible in line with government advice. You will not be refused entry to the course if you have travelled on public transport, this is more to free up space for emergency workers etc to get to work
  • If you are within the clinically vulnerable, or extremely clinically vulnerable category- or if you live with anyone who is in either of these two groups, please consider whether you wish to take advantage of our 2 year postponement offer, we will of course welcome you to this course, or one in the future.
  • Our risk assessments are published on our website for you to view
  • In case of emergency evacuation people do not have to stay 2 metres apart if it is unsafe to do so
  • Any personal litter should be burnt or removed at the end of the course and taken home
  • The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms- however the risk is deemed to be extremely low when operating in an outdoor environment. We will leave it at your discretion should you decide to wear a facemask. If you decide that you would like to wear a face covering, we would ask you to follow the below recommendations:
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
  • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • continue to wash your hands regularly
  • change and wash your face covering daily
  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
  • maintain social distancing wherever possible
  • The above is about protecting our team, as well as yourself and your other course participants
  • Where courses dictate the need then a number of fireplaces will be established to maintain social distancing
  • Clients will be refused entry on the instructor’s discretion based on appearance of potential symptoms

Social distancing should take place during ALL sessions. Each session has been re-designed to ensure you have the safest possible experience. If you are at unsure about how something will operate please contact us prior to the course, or ask the question directly to the instructor during the course.

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