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Find out about the tender process for short- and long-term harvesting contracts on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate

Tractor felling trees

Short-term harvesting contracts

A short-term contract (STC) represents one coupe, typically between 1,000 and 10,000 m3obs. Each contract comprises:

  • Standard Harvesting Contract
  • Site Specific Conditions. Restrictions on time of felling, location of facilities such as tracks, stacking points and extraction methods, for example
  • Taking specific conditions into account, bidders are required to submit a working method and risk assessment for each contract. These will form part of the contract
  • A cutting specification, detailing what products and sizes are to be cut

Tender process

The tender process for STCs is typically as follows:

Contractor payments

  • Contracts in Wales are tendered on a rate per tonne basis
  • Payments are made once a month via a self bill system
  • Contracts may have a stake bonus (1.7 - 1.9m length, 5 - 12cm diameter), payable at the end of the contract at a rate per tonne
  • Contracts may have a brash bale bonus (tonnage recovered from brash harvesting), payable once dispatch of brash bales is complete, at a rate per tonne
  • Payments are made on dispatches and on a percentage of an agreed stack measure

Long-term harvesting contracts

Natural Resources Wales uses harvesting contractors as well as two of our own harvester and forwarder teams, to fell and extract timber to roadside. We wrote a Harvesting Resource Strategy in 2010.

Harvesting Resource Strategy

The brief of the Harvesting Resource Strategy is to:

  • Identify the production plan and working methods in Wales to 2016
  • Assess existing harvester & forwarder, skidder & cable crane (skyline) capacity in Wales
  • Identify weaknesses/risks (the delivery ability) of future production plans
  • Make recommendations to address areas of risk

Executive Summary(Harvesting Resource Strategy 2010)

Long-term contracts

A long-term contract (LTC) aims to offer harvesting contractors a guarantee of work on a yearly basis, for a period of between three and five years. They are marketed to:

  • Encourage investment in machine resources in Wales
  • Encourage investment in training and developing a skilled harvesting workforce in Wales

Tender process

The LTC tender process is typically as follows:

Tenders will be advertised in the Forestry Journal and on Sell2Wales

  • Standard harvesting contract, plus any additional commitments applied to the award of the over-arching LTC
  • An LTC tender will detail the first year production coupes only on which bids are made
  • The LTC is reviewed, negotiated and secured on an annual basis
  • Wales Harvesting and Marketing reserves the right to terminate poor performing contract agreements

The last LTC tender was completed in early 2012.

Further information

For further information on harvesting contracts in Wales, contact or telephone 0300 065 3000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).

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