Frequently asked questions
When will car parks be reopening?
We started reopening our car parks on Friday 3 July, in line with easing of the Scottish Government’s “five mile” travel restriction. Make sure you check before you visit and that you check regularly for updates as we will continue to open more car parks as quickly as we can.
Make sure you plan ahead. If you arrive at one of our car parks and it looks busy, then it probably is too busy.
Car parking will be free initially, with charging likely to resume in the middle of July.
Can I go mountain biking?
For now, many of our formal mountain bike trails remain closed.
There are many world-class mountain bike trails in our forests and we know you want to get back to enjoying them. We are gradually reopening our trails, but before we can reopen all of our trails we need to check that they are safe and carry out any necessary repairs. We have been clearing fallen trees and branches, as well as removing fly tipping and litter which eats into the limited resources that we as land managers have at our disposal.
Make sure you check before you visit and that you check regularly for updates as we will continue to open more trails as quickly as we can.
There are also unauthorised mountain bike trails in the national forests and land. Please remember unauthorised trails have minimal management and may contain unexpected and very challenging features – they are not for inexperienced riders. FLS does not encourage this activity.
What outdoor activities have restarted under Phase 3?
The Scottish Government is in Phase 3 of its route map to recovery and has updated its guidance for exercise and non-contact leisure activities. Please make sure you adhere to the requirements for physical distancing and, before making plans, check relevant guidance in place for a number of sporting activities on the sportscotland website. You should also continue to be mindful of your rights and responsibilities when taking part in outdoor activities, and if you would normally require a permit, refer to our Tenants, Agreements and Permissions Holders’ FAQ.
When will visitor centres be reopening?
Our Visitor Centres remain closed for now. We will keep this under review in line with the Scottish Government’s Route map for moving out of lockdown. We look forward to welcoming visitors back into our Visitor Centres when we are able to do so safely, taking into account the phased approach to easing restrictions.
When will toilets be reopening?
For now, our toilets remain closed.
We are working towards reopening our public toilets as soon as possible. We need to ensure that these facilities are safe for you to use and implement new Health Protection Scotland guidance on cleaning and maintenance.
Please bear with us, while we actively work towards this goal and check back regularly for an update. Remember to "go before you go" when travelling to our forests.
Why are your litter bins not being emptied?
Before we can restart litter collections, we need to make sure we put in place the necessary measures to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and visitors. So we would ask that you continue to exercise your rights to access the outdoors responsibly and take your litter away with you.
What will happen with previously issued car park passes?
We have now started a phased reopening of our car parks, and are not initially charging for parking. All current car parking season passes will be automatically extended for the same length of time that our car parks have been closed or are not charging. Pass holders won’t need to do anything and we won’t be sending out new or amended passes. Our staff will be monitoring and are aware of these extensions when carrying out their checks.
Can I camp overnight (wild or in campsites)?
All our designated camping facilities remain closed following Scottish Government guidance. This is to help support physical distancing and to keep everyone safe. The Scottish Government advise that tents are not "self-contained accommodation". Please do not travel to our campsites and do not wild camp.
Can I stay overnight in my campervan?
Although Scottish Government guidance is that campervans (with integral water or waste disposal facilities) are self-contained accommodation, we do not permit overnight stays in any of our car parks for any type of vehicle.
Will there be rangers on site to help me?
We have limited staff at some sites and their focus will be on managing site safety.
Why are no permits being issued at the moment? When will that resume?
We are closely monitoring Scottish Government guidance to ensure we protect the health and wellbeing of our employees and those we work with including customers, suppliers, visitors and communities. In line with the current guidance, we have taken the decision to cancel permissions for events and group activities that were planned to take place between now and the end of August. For more information on agreements and permissions for specific guidance, please refer to our Tenants, Agreements and Permissions Holders’ FAQ.
Can volunteers carry out work on the national forests and land?
We are working to get our staff back to working away from home as quickly and safely as possible. The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our first priority, and we need to make sure we have measures in place to meet the new FISA COVID-19 safety guidance for the forestry sector, as well as the latest Scottish Government guidance.
So before we can ask volunteers to take part in any activities, we need to make sure that they can also do so safely. Getting our staff back to work, and operations underway will take us a little time and once we have done that we will then be able to start looking at opportunities for volunteering on the national forests and land.