The government has instructed that you should minimise time spent outside your home, minimise the number of journeys you make and only travel a short distance within your local area to exercise. The nation’s forests, car parks and essential facilities are open for people to exercise once-per-day, if they live locally. Please follow the government’s rules on exercising and meeting other people when considering a visit. You must stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.
If you visit the nation’s forests, we hope you will enjoy the space and fresh air with a safe, relaxing visit. Please remember that it is your responsibility to follow the guidance on staying safe outside your home. For more information on what to expect when visiting and what Forestry England is doing to keep you safe, visit: https://www.forestryengland.uk/coronavirus-visitor-information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for everyone visiting a forest
Thank you for your patience and support as we have safely re-opened as many car parks and other facilities in the nation’s forests as smoothly and swiftly as we can (for the complete list please of car parks that remain closed please see https://www.forestryengland.uk/carpark-closures) Thank you, too, for a steady and sensible return to the forests.
We know that you want to visit your favourite forest more often; we do too, but keeping you, our staff and other visitors safe is still the top priority. Below we explain what we are doing to help you and what you can do to help us make this work. Please continue to respect us as we take difficult decisions to balance Government guidance, local communities’ perspectives, and the needs of our visitors.
What we are doing to keep you safe
The majority of our car parks and other limited facilities are open, but please check to see which car parks are still closed before travelling. Some of the things we are doing in the forests include:
- Cleaning touchpoints and toilets as often as we can following our new cleaning regimes.
- Putting social distancing advice and guidance in place.
- Checking paths are accessible.
- Dismantling illegal mountain bike trails and clearing fly tipping.
- Looking out for any wildlife that may have taken the chance, while it has been quiet, to build a home in an unusual place.
- Due to Government guidance on play areas, at this time we cannot reopen our play equipment and play areas. Please also note that many of our sites have limited facilities and things such as toilets and cafes may not be open. We are supporting our fantastic business partners to re-open their services, in line with Government safety advice.
What you can do to help
When you visit the nation’s forests, we hope you will enjoy the space and fresh air with a safe, relaxing visit. Please remember that it is your responsibility to follow the guidance on staying safe outside your home.
Before you visit
Please think carefully about visiting and come prepared:
- Limited facilities. Toilets and food outlets may not be open or reduced and there could be fewer pay machines which could mean a que to pay. Consider bringing your own hand sanitiser, food and refreshments.
- Respect the forest. Put your litter in a bin, you might have to take it home to do so.
- No BBQs or fires. For the time being, BBQs are not allowed in any of our forests. The ground is very dry at the moment and they pose a fire risk. We have suffered a devastating fire at Wareham Forest in Dorset. Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had found the remains of 11 disposable barbecues in the area. Forest fires are a threat to people and wildlife and they also put a huge strain on our emergency services.
- Get to know the forest. See what walking and cycling trails there are on our website and make sure you have suitable footwear and if you plan to cycle, an appropriate helmet. Some forests may have new, temporary signs to follow or different opening hours.
- Check how you may need to pay before you visit. It might be by phone, cashless or with cash. The best option could be to become a member. You’ll be supporting the forest and have unlimited parking.
- It might be busy. Plan for what you will do if the site is temporarily closed because it is full or looks too busy for you. Be prepared to go somewhere else less busy, or return home and visit another time.
- Only use our car parks. Keep roads clear and do not park on verges. Please respect our local communities and emergency services and park responsibly.
- Be kind. Be patient. This is a new experience for all of us. We need your help to make this work.
Thank you for your support as we are doing our best for you
For frequently asked questions please see: https://www.forestryengland.uk/coronavirus-visitor-information
Last updated on 12/01/2021 13:57