FORESTRY and Land Scotland has started opening its forest car parks in line with current Scottish Government COVID-19 guidance.

The phased re-opening commenced on Friday 3 July but, at this stage, most of the larger visitor centres and their parking facilities will remain closed while safe working practices are put in place, FLS said.

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in parts of Dumfries and Galloway, forest car parks in the affected areas are not re-opening until 10 July at the earliest.

Walking trails have been open throughout the lockdown and are there for more people to enjoy as travel restrictions are eased. Most mountain bike routes, including the 7stanes, remain closed for now. Public toilets also remain closed.

CEO for Forestry and Land Scotland, Simon Hodgson said: “I’m really pleased that we can start a phased re-opening of car parks and welcome more visitors to our forests and woodlands. We are not quite at the stage where we can re-open everything but we are getting there as quickly as we can.

“It has been a difficult time for everyone and this includes our staff. I would ask that all visitors are considerate with our staff – we are all in this together and learning a 'new normal'.

“We know that visitors are keen to use the car parks and this may result in some very busy periods. Please be prepared to adapt your plans and have an alternative location in mind in case your forest destination looks too busy.

“Please remember that although restrictions are easing, the virus is still there so follow the physical distancing guidance and stay safe, protect others and save lives.”

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £69 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link:

Thanks – and stay safe.