Motorsports in the nation's forests

A white, blue and red rally car on a dirt track with dust billowing behind
GF Rally Images

Motorsports events

For over 60 years, the nation’s forests have hosted motorsports events and Forestry England are proud to continue that heritage and see it modernise. As England’s largest land manager, the forests in our care provide a unique and stunning backdrop for motorsports events. They attract participants and spectators from across the country and support the local economy around the event.

Working with national governing bodies

We host around 60 events every year overseen by the national governing bodies Motorsports UK and the Auto Cycle Union. These bodies regulate events and make sure they are managed to the highest safety standards.

We issue permits for two- and four-wheeled events. These range from regulated speed navigation events (timed events testing rider skills) to heritage vehicle rallies and high-speed special stage championship events.

Forestry England works closely with event organisers so events have minimal impact on the forest environment. It takes around 12 months to plan each event, involving our ecologists, recreation managers, civil engineers and foresters. You can find out more about planned events taking place in the nation’s forests through Motorsports UK (for four-wheeled events) and the Auto Cycle Union (for two-wheeled events).

An orange rally car on a gravel track with trees in the background
Paul and Ben Lawrence

Motorsports review 2020

Forestry England commissioned an independent review of motorsports in the nation’s forests during summer/autumn 2020. Staff, sector organisations, communities and the interested public commented, giving some 1,700 responses.

Following this review, we agreed to adapt and evolve our approach to hosting motorsport events and continue working with Motorsports UK and the Auto Cycle Union to permit events which deliver a wide range of socio-economic benefits.

We also committed to working closely with the sector to encourage further improvements to the environmental sustainability of the sports and develop a greater understanding on the financial impact on us from hosting these events so costs are fully covered by event organisers.

A white vintage rally car with red stripe, on a gravel road in the forest
Paul and Ben Lawrence

Within an hour’s drive

Forests and woodlands are special places: for trees, for wildlife, for everyone. And they are vital for the future of our planet. Everyone in England lives within an hour’s drive of the nation’s forests.

The support we receive from motorsports participants and spectators is essential to help us grow, shape and protect the nation’s forests, now and for future generations.

There are different ways for you to make a difference. You can make a donation, leave a legacy, volunteer your time or become a member. For companies, we have a range of corporate opportunities to explore.

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