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Following the Scottish Government announcement earlier this week of new Lockdown restrictions throughout January, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has announced that while its Visitor Centres will remain closed, most of its car parks, walking and mountain biking trails will remain open for local access.

FLS managed public toilets will also remain open.

The decision aims to support members of the public in maintaining their mental and physical health and wellbeing as Scotland strengthens its effort to slow transmission of COVID-19.

Simon Hodgson, FLS Chief Executive, said;

“As we all continue our efforts to limit the impact of the virus and to keep as many people as safe as we can, it’s now imperative that we support the Scottish Government’s ‘stay-at-home’ guidance.  

“However, we also recognise that it is also important that we all look after our health and well-being. That is why we are keeping most walking & mountain bike trails, car parks and toilets open so that local people can benefit from visiting their local woods. 

“The current advice is to take your exercise locally, so we would ask that people visit woodlands that are within walking, cycling or wheeling distance from their homes. We understand that there will be instances where, young children, older people and less able people will not be able to manage that short walk to their local woods, so we have kept our car parks open to help give them as much opportunity as we can in the circumstances.  

“We thank our visitors in advance for behaving sensibly and responsibly, and ask them to follow the latest Scottish Government and NHS advice.” 

Forestry and Land Scotland has also reserved the right to close specific car parks if they become over-crowded, present health and safety issues or impose onerous demands on staff. 

While most walking & mountain bike trails, car parks and toilets remain open, a small number are closed for routine winter maintenance. Check for local notices via our Find a Forest tool.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.

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  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 07785 527590 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.