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Forestry and Land Scotland have over 300 car parks to help visitors access the forests we manage and all the walks, trails, picnic areas, viewpoints, visitor centres, adventure and other activities available in them. At some of our car parks we charge for parking to help maintain these facilities and look after the forests and wildlife.

You can find out the parking charge (if applicable), how to purchase an Annual Pass, and which car parks have accessible parking bays by visiting the destination page of the forest. 

Blue Badge holders park for free in all of our car parks. 

To help answer some of our visitor parking questions, we’ve put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Our Charge Parking terms and conditions (PDF) are clearly stated in all our charging car parks and we regularly review our Charge Parking Equality Impact Assessment to ensure we meet our equality obligations and commitments. 

Car Parking Frequently Asked Questions:  

Why do Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) charge for car parking?
Car parks, trails other visitor facilities take staff time, resources and funds to maintain. While many of the car parks we manage are free to use, we do charge at some sites. This income helps us to keep these facilities in good order, improve the visitor experience, and look after the forests and their wildlife.      
Why do you charge at some car parks and not at others?
We regularly review the visitor experience at our charging car parks and introduce charging where it is appropriate to do so. This is only where the number of visitors justifies the resources required to install and maintain pay and display machines. 

How do you decide what tariffs to charge for parking or Annual Passes?

Tariffs are based on several factors:

  • the level of facilities
  • the visitor experience
  • parking charges encourage visitors to use alternative greener forms of transport, including vehicle sharing. This can help manage capacity on popular sites
  • local equality considerations
  • for Annual Passes, the number of car parks included on the pass

Our tariffs are reviewed regularly to ensure they are consistent with these factors.

Isn’t FLS a government agency? Haven’t I already pay through my taxes?
Car parks, trails and other visitor facilities take staff time, resources and funds to maintain. Your taxes do contribute to the work of FLS but they don’t cover all the costs of maintaining and improving the facilities. Car parking charges are an important additional source of income for FLS.
Where does the money generated by car parking go to?
Income generated from car parking goes back into improving and maintaining visitor facilities including car parks, trails and visitor signage across our destinations. It is also used to help look after the forests and their wildlife.
I thought FLS couldn’t charge for access?
Our car park charges are not an access charge. Motorised transport is excluded from access rights under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Access by vehicle, and parking, is by permission of the land manager. We encourage sustainable and healthy transport. Not all of our forests are an easy walk or cycle from people’s homes but we’re keen to encourage visitors to walk, cycle or take the bus to the forest wherever possible.
How can I pay for parking?

Pay facilities vary throughout our forests. Some have coin-operated machines whilst others have card readers. Due to the remoteness of many of our forests, card payments are not always available either due to lack of power, or good phone signal. We recommend bringing coins and cards with you just in case one of our machines is having an off-day.

Alternatively, if you are a frequent visitor to a particular forest or region, you can purchase a money-saving Annual Parking Pass. This allows unlimited parking for 12 months and removes the need for on-site payments. Please check on the destination page of the forest you intend to visit for payment details.

What disabled facilities do you have in your car parks?

Blue Badge holders park free of charge in all car parks and all our charge parking sites are designed with wheelchair access in mind. Tariff cards and signs are designed to meet visual accessibility guidelines and highly visible blue pay parking flags are present. Our most popular car parks with extra facilities and fully accessible trails all have marked disabled bays. 

We continually research viable solutions to improve reception at our sites to allow card and phone payment to be used. We review and update our Charge Parking Equality Impact Assessment regularly. Visit the destination page for more information about accessible facilities.

Can I park overnight in FLS car parks? I’d like to park to go camping. 

FLS car parks are for day visitors only. Under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, you are welcome to wild camp in many areas of Scotland. Please choose a campsite that is well away from roads, buildings and car parks. Camping by your car isn’t wild camping and ‘car camping’ in our car parks can cause issues for local residents and wildlife.

If you have a self-contained motorhome, you may be able to stay in some of our car parks for a single night as part of our Stay the Night trial.

I have been unable to use my Annual Parking Pass as my local car park/forest is closed.

A small number of trails and / or car parks in some of our forests remain closed following Storm Arwen. We appreciate that during this time visitors have been unable to make good use of their Annual Passes, so we will be automatically extending the dates of passes covering those forests for the same duration they have been closed.

Visitors do not need to do anything. Staff checking car parks in those areas will be aware of all extensions. Once the trails re-open, we will publish the length of the extension here so visitors know when to re-apply for their new pass.

If you would prefer a pro-rata refund, please contact your local office to arrange the return of your pass and refund.

Dumfries and Dumfries and Galloway Pass:

The Dumfries and the Dumfries and Galloway Pass can now be purchased again. Current passes have been extended for 5 months to cover the period between Storm Arwen and April 2022. E.g. if your pass expires in December 2021, it will be extended to the same date in May 2022, if you pass expires in June 2022, it will be extended to the same date in November 2022 etc. As above, you do not need to do anything. The extension is not valid for any passes purchased from April 2022 onwards.