COVID-19 coronavirus - Membership information
The following FAQs relate to our Forestry England Membership scheme. For any enquiries relating to Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum or Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum (which are managed independently and policies differ during this time), please visit their websites:
Forestry England Membership
Q: How is my Membership affected by the latest COVID-19 measures?
With the exception of Aston Hill Bike Park (Chilterns), all of our forests and woodlands which offer a Forestry England Membership are still open to you for your once-per-day outdoor exercise. This should be done locally whenever possible. Our car parks and essential facilities will be open. Most toilets and play areas are open and most cafes will be operating a takeaway service. Other facilities may be providing limited services. Please check what is open before you arrive.
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 if necessary to exercise. We are unable to advise you on what is an acceptable distance or frequency of journeys for your personal circumstance, and cannot adjust your membership as a result.
Please also keep yourself, our staff, volunteers and other visitors safe by following the government’s rules on exercising and meeting other people when considering a visit. Capacity of our car parks may have been amended to help social distancing, so please be prepared to make the necessary decision to turn around if the car park is full, and come another time.
We value your support and patience, so if we have your email address and permission to contact you, we may occasionally email you to help keep you informed. We also recommend you read our most up to date general guidance about visiting and always check our website before each visit.
Q: Will I receive an extension for the new lockdown period?
A: No extension is being made. As our Forest Centres are remaining open, and visiting our forests for exercise is still permitted, then your current membership expiry date will not change. Read more about our Nation's forests remaining open and general guidance about visiting.
We thank you for your on-going support by being a member. Your membership is helping us to care for the Nation's forests now and for the future.
Q: I have been bought a membership gift voucher, but don’t want my membership to start straight away, what can I do?
A: Don’t worry, we can help. Membership gift vouchers are valid for 90 days from date of purchase. This means the person receiving the gift must use their voucher within 90 days of when it was bought. However, if you don’t want your membership to start straight away or your membership isn’t due for renewal yet, you can still redeem the voucher as normal, but delay the start of your membership. This can be done on-line by amending the start date during your purchase. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries or need help.
Q: I missed time on my Membership in April and May 2020 due to Forest Centre closures, did I receive an extension?
A: As our Forest Centres were closed during April and most of May last year, we took steps to automatically adjust the memberships for those affected at the time, so our records reflect the revised expiry. So if you held a valid Membership at 1 April 2020, we added two months to your Membership.
We have not replaced your physical membership sticker (where used), so you must still display your existing pass in your windscreen. If your Membership has expired on or after 30 April 2020, please display your pass anyway for an additional 2 months following its expiry date shown. Your details have been updated in our system and staff working on site will take this into account.
If your local forest has an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) barrier, your information has been updated automatically, and you can still visit on your existing membership until the revised expiry date.
Q: Can I still buy my Membership in person?
A: No, most of our Forest Centres are not currently selling membership in person. You can still buy or renew your Membership online. Please note that when buying Membership online you will need to do this before visiting the forest as you will need to print your temporary membership pass at home (to use until your membership pack arrives by post).
If you have any difficulties buying Membership online, see below for how to contact us so we can help. We are sorry if it takes us longer to respond at this time due to Covid-19 disruptions.
Your support as a member is extremely important to us and helps us to continue to maintain your local forest now and for the future.
Q: I want to join or renew my membership, can I still do this?
A: Yes, you can join or renew however, you will need to do this online as it is not possible to do this on site at the moment. You will still receive your confirmation email, including relevant benefit codes, and you can still sign-up to receive your member newsletters. Remember to print and bring your temporary pass before visiting. Please also see below Q: When will I receive my pack?
Q: When will I receive my Membership pack?
A: We are following the government’s social distancing guidance and working from home where we can. We are sorry but this means there may be a delay in sending your Membership pack. We will, however, send you everything you need by email to start enjoying your Membership. Please note that you will need to join online before visiting the forest as you will need to print a temporary pass to display in your windscreen until your Membership pack arrives.
Q: How can I contact you for help?
A: The quickest way for us to help you is if you email us at email@example.com. You can also phone us on 0300 068 0400, but due to supporting our team working from home as much as possible, using this option may take longer for us to respond. Please leave a message and we will return your call.
Thank you again for your support and patience.