A walk in the woods is one of life's simple pleasures.
In the past ten years, we've opened up our mountains, moors, heath, downs, commons and coast for walkers. Now we're focusing on opening up our woodland!
We are asking all political parties to commit to increasing the amount of woodland available for walkers.
A walk in the woods is one of life’s simple pleasures. Forests are magical diverse habitats that evoke childhood memories of Enid Blyton novels and teddy bear picnics. The importance of woodland was shown by the huge uproar at Government plans to sell off England’s public forests in February 2011.
The Government set up an Independent Panel to look at the future of forestry in England. The Independent Panel put forward their final report to Government in July and said that they think access to woodland should be “the norm” for everyone.
The Government set up an Independent Panel to look at the future of forestry in England. The Independent Panel put forward their final report to Government in July and said that they think access to woodland should be “the norm” for everyone. Government has now published its plans for taking forward the panel's report. We are urging them to come up with clear plans to increase the amount of woodland open for walkers.
We have worked with other user groups (including horse-riders, cyclists and husky sledgers) to make sure that people enjoying woodland is a key part of all forestry policy.
Together, we’ve rallied and presented Forestry Panel members with saplings bearing messages. We’re now lobbying Government for clear plans to increase the amount of woodland that people can walk in.
Currently the public in England and Wales have the right to walk in nearly all (90%) of Forestry Commission owned woodland, which makes up 18% of all woodland in England. But, the public can only enjoy an estimated 30% of other woodland.
The public forest estates in Wales and Scotland are under the control of the devolved assemblies but still managed by the Forestry Commission.
Walkers in Scotland have a statutory right of access to almost all land, including forestry and woodlands, through the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which made Scotland one of the most walker-friendly countries in Europe. Access rights also apply to cyclists and horseriders.
The Welsh Government has pledged to maintain Wales’s 126,000 hectares under public ownership. Walkers in Wales have the right to enjoy most Forestry Commission woodland, but have the same limitations in enjoying private woodland that walkers in England do.
Our vision is for people to be able to walk in all woodland in Great Britain.
By making a donation you can help us continue to campaign on behalf of walkers.
We'll keep you posted with the latest news and developments.
12% of the UK is covered by woodland, compared to 37% of Europe.
Get the latest news updates on this campaign and other campaigns we're working on.
Find out more about how we'd like more woodland opened up for walkers.