TKF Training with Uganda Wildlife Authority and UCF

Last year TKF Training received an international request from Uganda for help with trees that were blocking road at the hands of elephants! The proud owner of TKF responded and here is Tim’s account of the trip and training provided:

Chainsaw Training In Uganda from Nick Wilcox-Brown on Vimeo.

“I recently received a strange request on the lines of ‘ We have a problem with elephants pushing trees over blocking tracks and rides and need to train some volunteers with chainsaws to clear the routes”

Slightly surprised and somewhat amused, because I have friends that revel in setting me up, I asked a few searching questions.

It transpired that it was a genuine request from the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF).  The UCF are a charity that was set up some twenty years ago to support the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to recover and manage protected areas, promoting regional recovery and reducing poaching and wildlife crime.

TKF training & UCF Team photo

The UCF work with park-adjacent communities to promote wildlife compatible livelihoods and mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

One of the searching questions I asked was “what chainsaws do you currently use?’ The answer was “I don’t know, I will go to the armoury and have a look.” I received a photograph of an old Husqvarna that had been confiscated from a poacher with a caption “We might need a couple of new ones”

Having worked with Echo Power Tools for a number of years I was convinced that a medium ranged chainsaw capable of operating in fairly extreme conditions would suffice and recommended the Echo CS501SX.

Echo chainsaw cs501sx

Vaccinations,Visa and flights all sorted I landed in Entebbe and was taken to Kampala where I met Michael Keigwin MBE the founder of the UCF, taken to the rugby club for some barbecued pork and a beer.

The next day I was met by Derek Lubangakene from the UCF and Sam the driver and embarked on a four hour drive across Uganda to Murchison Falls National Park and then a two hour journey through the park to the UWA Headquarters close to the river Nile.

The following day I met four young men that were to be my first chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting group.  I have to say that they were smart, keen and very enthusiastic.

Tim briefing the team on chainsaws
Tim briefing the team on chainsaws

The chainsaws were unpacked, checked and set up.  I had asked for a few spares and received extra bars, chains, air filters, sprockets and clutch drums.

Having completed the maintenance, starting procedures and operational checks we travelled to the site (in the bush). The journey was not your everyday journey to work, it included a ferry across the Nile, encountering Baboons, Warthogs, Ugandan Bucks, Buffaloes, Elephants, Giraffes and of course Lions.

A Lion in the grass
A lion in the grass


You would think that cross-cutting would be straight forward however, with the danger of so many predators the risk assessment dictated that we have an armed UWA Ranger guarding our work site.

Whilst demonstrating a couple of step cuts on a fallen tree a snake appeared on the stem approximately 90cm from my right shoulder and head, the snake went back under the bark and reappeared further down the stem I said to the boys “Is that venomous?” To which they replied in unison, “yes” . We all then began a traditional African dance. I can’t wait for the tree felling course!”

chainsaw training with tim
Chainsaw cross felling overseen by Tim


Chainsaw maintenance in practice
Chainsaw maintenance in practice – Sharpening the chain


tim overseeing operating of chainsaws
More cross felling being observed


TKF Training is happy to announce the recent sponsorship of WODland 2019! And it was such a hit we are hosting the event again in August 2020!

Now that our feet have finally dried & the mud has been wash away. Here is our full video of the weekend to say thank you to everyone who took part in WODland The Awakening.

You were the WODland pioneers & here is to many more events.

Are you and your team ready for WODland 2020?

Held over two days in August 2020, WODland: The New Dawn is an outdoor functional fitness team competition.

Mixed teams of six, three guys, three girls, will battle it out in eight different workouts held across the whole of the weekend. The best performing teams will then face off against each other in final workout to claim a place on the winners’ WODland podium.

Designed to push the teams to the limits of their fitness, the WODland workouts will take place in a unique hidden tree-lined arena, specially created in the middle of a Yorkshire pine forest.

There’ll be food, drink, music, onsite parking, camping facilities and bucketloads of atmosphere. All you need to bring is your team – oh and plenty of strength and stamina.

Team spaces are limited, so be quick. Grab five friends, get signed up, get involved!

Enter Your Team


What to expect?

The WODland workouts are all team workouts – with an emphasis on the ‘teamwork’ – designed to test all types of functional fitness – with an emphasis on the ‘fun’.

Precise details of the seven workouts (plus final) involved will be released on the day / night of the event, but expect the WODland workouts to combine all aspects of functional fitness, including lifting, shifting, carrying, dragging, running, sprinting, cycling, and climbing.

The events will be designed to test not only fitness, strength, and stamina, but teamwork, timing, and strategy. So it will be the teams that work together the best that will succeed in WODland, not just the fittest or strongest.

You can visit our ‘workouts’ page to see a sample of the type of movements you will be expected to complete as a team at the weekend, these are also a great way of practicing working as a team in the run up to the event.

For more information go to


Where is WODland?

The WODland arena is cut right into the trees of a pine forest outside of Holmfirth in West Yorkshire.

Seriously – you’ll have never seen or competed anywhere like this before.

WODland HQ
Holme Styes Wood, Bare Bones Road, Holmfirth
near: HD9 2DE

Phone: 0785 4035 406

Funding for Tree Surgery Courses

TKF Training is fortunate to be an approved provider to ELCAS and is therefore able to offer a range of ELC funded Arborist and chainsaw courses to service leavers.

Courses include:

  • TKF Basic Arborist – (Cutting Trees with a Chainsaw, Accessing and felling Trees, Aerial tree Pruning and Emergency Tree Work)
  • TKF Advanced Groundsperson – (Felling and Processing trees over 380mm, Assisted Felling, user of a powered pole pruner)
  • Advanced Arborist – (Safe use of a stumpgrinder, Use of a Chainsaw from MEWP, Aerial Tree pruning and rigging)

The ELC scheme is an initiative to develop lifelong learning opportunities for members of the armed forces and now provides a great opportunity for a career in Arboriculture.

More information on the funded courses can be found here>>

The TKF Training Office is jumping with joy this week as we have achieved ISO14001 & ISO18001!
Thank you to Paul Elcoat from  Elcoat Ltd for the support provided throughout our ISO journey. It’s so good to have such a solid relationship with this company. I am so very happy to say that we have now achieved and been awarded ISO14001 & OHSAS18001. Pauls comments have everyone doing backflips.. “The work and commitment to getting everything in place was obvious during my visit so you can all be justifiably proud.” A huge pat on the back has to go to Jonny for pulling everything together.

Much Rejoicing 🙂

tkf chainsaw training

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