Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives - the nation’s forests and essential facilities are open for people to exercise once-per-day, if they live locally - read our coronavirus guidance.


Updated 8th January 2021

New applications for permission to undertake group activities or larger events in the nation's forests are only being considered where they take place after the Easter school holidays. New applications for essential or exempted activity will be considered but will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Existing applications for solo or 1:1 activity, or where activities with greater numbers are specifically exempted by the government guidance e.g., support groups, will be permitted to continue.

Our priority remains to keep people safe and support social distancing. Everyone must follow the latest UK Government and Public Health England guidance on managing public facilities and events.

For those who already have permission in place for an upcoming activity or event in the nation’s forests, we will shortly be contacting you directly about your permission and asking for your co-operation in supporting the nation’s on-going response to Covid-19.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can I apply for a permission to use one of your forests?

A. Yes but only for group events or activities taking place after the Easter School holidays. These will need to meet both government guidance and any activity specific guidance e.g. relevant National Governing Body. We need to confirm that your proposed activity can be done safely alongside all other activities and visitors nearby.

Q. I already have an approved permission for a public event before the end of Feb 2021 - what should I do?

A. Following the new Covid-19 National Restrictions in place from 6 January we will be in touch directly to request you review your permission and advise us of your plans for postponement or cancellation of your event or activity.

Q. I have an approved permission for an event involving the public taking place from the end of February onwards – what should I do?

A. We request you to review your planned activity against the emerging guidance and to take any action necessary to ensure it complies. You should consider the implications of extensions to, or further changes to guidance, and consideration for the possibility of postponement or cancellation at a later date.

Q. I already have an approved permission for a solo or 1:1 exercise activity (e.g. fishing, horse riding, personal training). What can I do?

A. We will be in touch with you to request an updated risk assessment.  Your activity must meet the current government guidance.

Q. Will my application fee be refunded if I cancel my event?

A. No. The application fee supports the cost of administering your permission application and is not refundable. If there are specific event fees involved, these will not be charged if the event is cancelled. 

Q. I have an annual permission, will I get an extension to cover this lockdown? 

A. Yes. Annual permissions will be extended to cover the period of suspension. If we haven’t contacted you about this before your permit is due to expire, please ask your local Forestry England member of staff.

Q. Is there anything else I need to consider?

A. Not all facilities are open in our forests. Please read our Coronavirus visitor guide for general information on visiting. For specific sites, please check our website.