Can You Camp On Forestry England Land? (Explained)

Camping is a popular outdoor activity that allows people to connect with nature and escape the busyness of everyday life. With beautiful forests and woodlands across England, Forestry England land offers fantastic potential sites for camping holidays and weekends away. But can you actually camp on Forestry England land?

The short answer is yes, you can camp at many Forestry England sites, but there are some important rules and restrictions you need to be aware of. Through permits, designated campsites and following Leave No Trace principles, responsible camping on Forestry England land is possible.

This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about camping on Forestry England sites. We’ll explain the permitting system, highlight some of the best campgrounds, share tips for minimal impact camping and outline the rules for wild camping. With this advice, your next Forestry England camping adventure will be a success!

Permits & Campsites on Forestry England Land

Forestry England manages over 230 forests across England, covering nearly 1,500 square kilometres of land. With so much beautiful landscape to explore, they offer numerous designated campsites and permit systems for camping.

Designated Campsites

Many Forestry England forests have established campgrounds with facilities like toilets, electric hook-ups and drinking water. These designated sites allow easy, convenient camping with no need for permits. Some popular options include:

  • Rabcdale Camping & Caravanning Club Site, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire – Stunning views and walking trails through heather moorland. Electric hook-ups available.
  • Holmsley Campsite, Holmsley Forest, Hampshire – Camp under old oaks in the New Forest. Toilets, drinking water and BBQs provided.
  • Beddgelert Forest Campsite, Gwynedd, North Wales – Camp next to a mountain stream. Excellent base for Snowdonia hikes.
  • Blackbrook Campsite, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire – Cycle trails through the forest. Camp shop on-site.

Check the Forestry England campsite directory for details on facilities, prices and booking.

Permits for Low-Impact Camping

For a more isolated camping experience, you can obtain permits for low-impact camping in certain Forestry England forests. Permits allow you to camp outside of designated campgrounds, while still following responsible practices.

There are two main permit options:

  • Basic camping permits – These allow single tent camping in approved areas for minimal fees. Available at Wallingford, Whinlatter and other forests.
  • Pennine Way camping permits – Special permits for hiking the 268-mile Pennine Way. Allow overnight stops at Forestry England facilities.

Always check with the local Forestry England office for specific rules in their forest. Permits often restrict campsite choice, access times, group sizes and total nights. Following Leave No Trace principles is essential.

Best Forestry England Campgrounds & Forests

With so many forests to choose from, here are some of the top campgrounds and woodlands to consider on Forestry England land:

Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

  • Large, pine forest in the North York Moors, great for mountain biking
  • Rabcdale campsite has electric hook-ups
  • Easy access to Whitby and Scarborough on the coast

New Forest, Hampshire

  • Ancient woodland with wild ponies grazing
  • Holmsley campsite near picturesque Rhinewood
  • Lovely towns and villages like Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst

Gwydyr Forest, Snowdonia

  • Dramatic mountains and pretty Llyn Crafnant lake
  • Permit-only camping in certain areas
  • Climb Snowdon or zip line at Zip World Bethesda

Grizedale Forest, Lake District

  • Stunning valley views and sculptures trail
  • Hawkshead and Satterthwaite campsites available
  • Climb the Old Man of Coniston nearby

Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire

  • Legendary home of Robin Hood
  • Cycling, walking and zip wires
  • No camping permitted within the forest

Check location, facilities and any restrictions before selecting your Forestry England camping destination.

Responsible Camping & Leave No Trace

One of the conditions for camping on Forestry England land is following Leave No Trace principles. This ensures you minimise your impact on the natural environment.

Leave No Trace guidelines include:

Choose Durable Surfaces

  • Set up tent on vegetation or sand, not delicate lichens or flowers

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Carry out all litter, leftover food and sanitary products

Leave What You Find

  • Don’t damage live trees or plants and leave animals alone

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance and keep pets under control

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Avoid loud noises, keep groups small and allow others to pass

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Know the regulations, pack proper equipment and schedule your trip

Practising minimal impact camping means protecting Forestry England land for the enjoyment of all. Make sure you understand the seven Leave No Trace principles before your trip.

Rules for Wild Camping on Forestry England Land

Wild camping, outside of designated sites and without permits, is not allowed on Forestry England land. However, you may be able to wild camp in certain forests if you:

  • Do not light fires or have barbecues
  • Stay no more than two nights in one spot
  • Keep your tent small and discreet
  • Avoid busy areas
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles
  • Respect local bylaws for the forest

You can increase your chances of permissible wild camping by going midweek instead of busy weekends, keeping your stay brief and leaving no evidence of your camp.

However, wild camping on Forestry England land is still technically prohibited without permission. You camp at your own risk of being moved on by rangers. Get in touch with the local forest office if in any doubt.

Planning Your Forestry England Camping Trip

To ensure your Forestry England camping experience goes smoothly, make sure to properly plan your trip:

Choose Your Location

  • Pick your preferred Forestry England forest and campsite
  • Check local restrictions and permit requirements
  • Have back-up sites, in case your first choice is full

Pack Essentials

  • Tent, sleeping bags, bedding, cooking supplies
  • Weatherproof clothing, sturdy footwear
  • Toilet paper, trowel to bury waste
  • Map, compass, flashlight, first aid kit

Book Accommodation

  • Reserve campsite pitch or permits early
  • Calculate fees and check payment options

Travel & Entry

  • Plan travel route and arrange transportation
  • Have permit confirmation details if required

Safety Precautions

  • Familiarize yourself with risks like steep terrain or fast rivers
  • Know emergency numbers and procedures
  • Leave trip plan and contact details with someone at home

Thorough planning and preparation will help you have the best possible camping experience on Forestry England lands.

Top Tips for Camping on Forestry England Land

To summarise, here are some top tips for hassle-free camping on Forestry England land:

  • Check if permits are required for the location and confirm regulations
  • Only camp in designated areas unless you have permission
  • Leave No Trace – follow 7 principles to minimize your impact
  • Pack essentials like first aid kits, stove, sleeping gear
  • Practice food hygiene and properly dispose of all waste
  • Camp midweek to avoid busy weekends if possible
  • Keep wild camping discreet if allowed in the forest at all
  • Familiarize yourself with potential risks and emergency procedures
  • Respect forest rules and rangers to avoid being moved on
  • Book early as campsites fill fast in peak season

Responsible preparation and behaviour will ensure you have an enjoyable camping experience while protecting the forest environments. With sweeping woodland views, fresh air and cozy nights around the campfire, Forestry England land offers the perfect settings to connect with nature through camping – as long as you follow the guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a permit to camp anywhere on Forestry England land?

No, designated campsites do not require permits, only camping outside provided areas requires a permit. Always check regulations with the local forest office first.

Can you have campfires or barbecues on Forestry England land?

Campfires and BBQs are prohibited for basic permit camping. Fires are allowed only in designated camping areas with facilities, if the fire risk is low.

Is wild camping allowed in Forestry England forests?

Wild camping without permits is technically prohibited, but may be tolerated if done responsibly in some forests. Never light fires or stay more than two nights.

Do children need permits to camp on Forestry England land?

Children under 16 can be included on an adult’s camping permit, but children under the age of 16 are not allowed to camp unsupervised. Always check permit conditions for each forest site.

Can you camp anywhere in a Forestry England forest with a permit?

No, permits specify certain approved areas, routes or campsites, with restrictions on accessing other zones. Always camp only in your permitted area.

Is camping allowed all year round on Forestry England land?

Most campsites are open March to October only. Some may close in winter, while permit camping is sometimes allowed year-round depending on weather. Verify open seasons beforehand.

Does Forestry England allow motorhomes and campervans?

Yes, many campsites accommodate campervans, caravans and motorhomes. Electric hook-ups are also available at certain sites. But always verify vehicle access restrictions.

Can you ride horses or mountain bikes through campsites?

No, recreations vehicles like bikes and horses should not be ridden through camping areas, to avoid disturbing tents and equipment. Follow designated paths and trails instead.

We hope this guide provides you with all the key information to safely enjoy camping on Forestry England land. Their forests offer beautiful settings to wake up in the great outdoors. With respect for rules and nature, and proper preparation, you’ll be set for a rejuvenating getaway under the trees.

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