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Permissions – New applications for activities and events in the nation’s forests suspended

Updated 25th June 2020

We are sorry that we are not considering new applications for activities or events in the nation’s forests right now as we focus on visitors returning safely and other critical forestry activities.

Restarting suspended activities

From Wednesday 13 May, we began to re-open our car parks and facilities. Although this is great news and we are welcoming visitors back to the nation’s forests safely and steadily, our priority is to keep people safe and support social distancing.

Just as we are gradually opening facilities, we will gradually restart other activities and will not resume all our permission activity at once.

However, where an activity can be done individually or where an individual has minimal contact with others outside of their household and social distancing can be maintained, activity may begin to restart. If you already have a permission which we have assessed falls into this category, we will be contacting you directly about your permission and what must be done before restarting.

We continue to follow the latest UK Government and Public Health England guidance on managing public facilities and events and will keep reviewing our approach.

Frequently asked questions

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

A. We are sorry that we are not considering new applications for activities or events in the nation’s forests right now. We continue to follow Government and Public Health England guidance on managing public facilities and events and will keep reviewing our approach.

Q. I have an approved permission for an event involving the public - what should I do?

A. Events and activities for the public or groups have been allowed to restart from the 22nd June subject to compliance with current government guidance, and the capacity for it at your proposed forest site. You should consider the implications of further changes to guidance.

Q. I already have an approved permission for a solo activity / one that does not involve the public (e.g. fishing, foraging, horse riding). What can I do?

A. From 8 June we resumed these suspended activities. We will be in touch with you directly to ask for updated risk assessments. Your activity must meet the government guidance on social distancing. Activity which is suspended may only restart following written confirmation from Forestry England.

Q. Can I get my application fee refunded for postponing my event or activity?

A. No, postponed activities are not eligible for refunds for application fees.

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

A. Activities cancelled will not be subject to a refund of the administration fee. Forestry England has already carried out the service of consultation and processing the application. However, event fees will not be charged for cancelled events. 

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

A. Yes. Annual permission holders will have their permission extended to cover the period affected by the suspension.   

Q. Is there anything else I need to consider?

ANot all facilities are open at our sites. Please follow our Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for everyone page for general information on visiting our forests. For specific sites, please check the website. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience in these difficult times.

Q. Why are some activities allowed to restart and not others, even though it meets government guidance?

A. Although the managed re-opening of our facilities is great news and we are welcoming visitors back to the nation’s forests safely and steadily, our priority is to keep people safe and support social distancing. As such, we are re-starting our permission activity in a phased way.

Under this plan the first phase restart of permission activity will only be for solo activity or where an individual is meeting with minimal contacts from outside of their household and social distancing can be maintained. The types of permission activity that can restart will be reviewed as the situation progresses and following any changes to Government Guidance.