photo of forest

Activities Risk Assessment

Activities Risk Assessment

This activities risk assessment covers all possible risks during activities on site and in the surrounding forest. Some risks won’t be applicable to your group depending on the activities you choose. 

Possible hazards and risks:

Precautions and control measures to reduce the risk severity or likelihood:

Safe working

It is up to visiting school staff to ensure they bring sufficient adults to ensure the safety of their students. The Hive staff are not included in the adult to student ratios guidance. The following are offered as guidance only;
- One adult for 6 pupils in years reception to 3
- One adult for 15 pupils in years 4 to 6
- One adult for 20 pupils in years 7 onwards

In case of needing to call emergency services

Centre staff carry mobile phone at all times.
What3words entrance from the road;
What3words The Lodge; gates.small.mugs
Centre staff will manage the casualty.
Class teacher to call emergency services.
Other school staff will manage the rest of the class.
If needed Centre staff managing the casualty will call for another member of staff to meet emergency services.

Medical / behavioural conditions

Group leader to advise Centre staff of any students who may need extra support during activities to help them to follow instructions.
Centre staff to check that visiting staff brings medication to activities.
Centre staff to be made aware of any medical conditions in the group (students and adults).
Centre staff will carry a first aid kit and mobile phone.
School to ensure that there is appropriate adult: children ratios as required.

Child protection

All site visitors are directed to the reception and required to sign in.
All Centre staff and volunteers are DBS checked.

Injury from incorrect actions when a fire alarm sounds

Students and accompanying adults to be instructed about where to safely go when they hear a fire alarm (follow their adult to the fire safety point on the front lawn).
Centre staff to follow their roles in the fire safety procedure.
Centre staff to undertake a fire alarm practice every term.

Getting lost

Students are not allowed through closed gates (or climb fences) without a responsible adult.
Students must not leave group unless with a responsible adult.
Students must stay within sight of responsible adult & observe boundaries as directed by the Centre staff.
Students must be counted by a responsible adult on arrival and departure from the Centre.

Hypothermia/hyperthermia/weather exposure

Weather conditions are assessed by Centre staff on the day of the visit to ensure that the activity planned is safe to undertake with consideration to the weather conditions.
Visiting schools are asked to ensure students bring appropriate weather gear e.g. sun hat, water bottle, wellingtons, waterproofs, hat, scarves and gloves.
Centre staff to carry picnic blanket for insulation or shade. Activities are planned to include areas of shelter or shade as necessary.
Additional opportunities to get drinking water will be given to students at times of very high temperatures.

Impact from vehicle

Groups are instructed on safety procedures for crossing roads ("Suntrap line" along edge of road, not to cross until instructed by Centre Staff).
Students not to go into coach/car parking area on site unless supervised by adult.
Students to be supervised by a responsible adult when getting on/off coaches or minibuses.
If walking along the side of the road with no pavement, students instructed to stay off the tarmacked road if possible and an adult is present at the front and back. Will walk facing oncoming traffic if safe to do so.

Soil/water/animal-borne diseases

Students instructed not to put fingers in mouth during/after activities which include handling plants, soil, animals and pond water.
Centre staff to check if any students have open cuts.
Any open/fresh cuts to be covered with a plaster/gloves.
Hands should be washed with warm soapy water before eating lunch/snack.
Surfaces are cleaned with disinfectant before eating/drinking.


The Centre Site is checked regularly by staff before activities and students reminded of risks when activities are in the forest.
Centre staff to carry first aid kit.
Centre staff to make visitors aware of any particular hazards when moving around the site or forest.
Centre staff to offer visitors appropriate footwear if deemed necessary.
Students to move around the building sensibly and instructed to walk, mostly with an adult leading them.
School staff to supervise students in toilets.
Spillages in building to be cleaned appropriately and sign used if not dried.
Trip hazards in building to be removed or reported to Facilities Management.


All adults (as appropriate), including Centre staff, to be aware of any medical conditions e.g. asthma & allergies.
Students instructed not to collect bees, wasps or red ants when collecting invertebrates.
No flora or fauna to be collected unless directed by Centre Staff.


Centre staff and visiting adults ensure students do not to put anything (e.g. leaves/seeds) into their mouths (unless directed to by Centre staff).
Hands should be washed with warm soapy water before eating lunch/snack.
Any hazardous chemicals stored in locked cupboard.


Centre staff and visiting adults ensure students do not to put anything (e.g. leaves/seeds) into their mouths (unless directed to by Centre staff).
Students to be instructed by an adult to stand still or sit when eating.

Falling branches/trees

Avoid use of high-risk areas in high winds.
Unsafe branches or trees to be avoided and reported to other members of staff.
Shelter building - students will be instructed to not enter their shelter until a member of Suntrap staff has deemed it safe. Branches should not be added to or removed from the shelter whilst someone is inside. Centre staff will ensure no shelters are built under or against any dead limbs.

Injury form thorny vegetation

Centre staff to ensure that area where students will be working is clear of thorny vegetation.
Students to be instructed to take care when walking along narrow pathways.
Students to be instructed to be aware of those following behind them and not to allow branches to hit those behind.

Injury from dogs/horses/cattle and bikes in forest

Group to be instructed on safe behaviour around horses, dogs, cattle or bikes.
Group to be instructed to look both ways when moving across pathways in forest.                                           Group to be instructed to stand to the side, be quiet ans still when horses are passing.

Injury from Centre Animals

Anyone handling the Centre animals should be taught safe and appropriate handling methods.
Handling of animals should be done under supervision by a member of Centre staff.
School staff to inform Centre staff if any individual who is handling an animal has a known allergy, especially to fur and feathers.

Manual handling – moving branches and logs

Students instructed to do the following: only lift heavy branches with 2 or more people, check they have adequate space before turning with long branches, do not take live branches off trees.
Roll logs with hands carefully, do not kick or push with feet.

Injury from a fall

Climbing and balancing will only be done on logs which are touching the ground and under the supervision of a responsible adult.

Injury from thrown/flying objects

Throwing sticks/stones (or any unsafe object) is prohibited.


When near water students must always be supervised by a responsible adult.
Visiting school to decide on the student:staff ratio to ensure the safety of their students.
Supervising adults to be made aware by Centre staff of any water hazards on site.
Students do not enter stream unless instructed to by Centre Staff. The water level must be below welly height.
While pond dipping at Upper Pond:
The gate to the upper pond to be kept locked when not in use with no access for students unless accompanied by a member of Centre staff.
When moving around the pond students are instructed to stay on the pathway around the pond.
When carrying out dipping, students to be instructed to do so from their assigned gravelled dipping stations.
Only one student per group at a time to be within the gravelled dipping station.
Students to be instructed on how to safely undertake dipping; stand with a wide stance for balance, stay within the gravelled dipping station behind the wooden palisade edging, don’t over-reach with the net.
Students instructed to kneel when filling or emptying buckets or trays at dipping station.
Students are instructed to take care when moving around the pond with the long net.
Centre staff will carry a throw rope as a precaution.
Garden ponds
No students to enter fenced off garden ponds areas unless supervised by an adult.
Wheelchair users will use the garden ponds.


Any fire lighting activity is done under the instruction and supervision of Centre staff.
Fire lighting equipment is stored securely by Centre staff.
Fire blanket and bucket of water to be available during fire making activities. Centre staff carry burn gel in first aid kits.

Spread of grass fire

No fires to be lit on site in times of drought conditions.
Buckets of water to be available by any lit fire.
The meadow terrace by the main Suntrap building will be mown and vegetation removed at the end of flowering season.

Injury from low ropes equipment

Equipment checked annually by ROSPA.
Before use, responsible adult to undertake check for damage or hazards in area. If fault or hazard found, report to Head of Centre and remove if possible or do not let groups use.
Use of play equipment to be supervised by adults, to ensure no chasing games in the area.

Injury from other equipment

Students instructed on how to carry and use equipment safely before they start the activity.
Any broken equipment to be reported to Centre Staff.

Getting lost during orienteering activity only

School staff instructed on where their checkpoint is and where students are allowed to go. Centre staff at front check that students go in correct direction at start of activity.
Students always stay with partner/group. If get students feel lost they should retrace steps or stay where they are.
Groups recorded (names and colours of clothes) on sheet, which is photocopied and used by all adults to identify groups during activity.

Contracting a pandemic related condition

Staff and visitors to follow the Centre protocols which are based on public health guidance.

Accident when walking to the forest from Station Road, Chingford.

When walking along pavements students to walk in pairs, in a "crocodile" away from the kerb edge.
An adult should be at the front and the back of the group, with other adults walking on the road side of the "crocodile" if there is room.
Students to be told to be aware of other pedestrians and to make room to let them pass. 
From the station, roads to cross to access forest land; Beresford Road and Rangers Road by the first bus stop.
From north side of Station Road, roads to be crossed Forest Approach and Bury Road just before the Holly Cafe.
Cross each road one class at a time.
Two adults to stop traffic in each direction, a third adult to instruct students when it is safe to cross.

.Updated: September 2022