1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hey Guest, We're having our annual Winter Moot and we'd love you to come. PLEASE LOOK HERE to secure your place and get more information.
    For forum threads CLICK HERE
    Dismiss Notice

Forestry Commision woodland

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by Brown Bear, May 15, 2009.

  1. Brown Bear

    Brown Bear Forager

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cambridge
    The only woodland of any size near me is forestry commission owned and managed. Does anyone know what view they take of people overnighting in their forests? I'm sure that fires are their biggest concern. I always leave a site as nature intended it, but I've found camps left by others strewn with beer cans and burnt rubbish etc. I'b love to know what the commissions view is on wild camping.
     
  2. Treemonk

    Treemonk Forager

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penyffordd
    I'm afraid to say there is a presumption against wild camping. This is unlikely to change as if everyone was allowed, well, you can imagine the problems, fires, litter etc.

    The actual situation will vary with district. Some districts have a policy of "if it all looks responsible I'll turn a blind eye", others will ask you to leave if spotted, no arguments.

    My best advice would be to keep very low profile - keep well off paths, minimal disturbance, no fires. If you can't be seen, there won't be a problem. Also bare in mind that there are likely to be deer stalkers out early morning and late evening.

    Hope that helps
     
  3. Shewie

    Shewie Mod
    Mod

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    24,257
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    You could try contacting the local FC ranger and offer to do a bit of clearing up in exchange for a few nights out. Maybe even offer yourself as a volunteer to get your foot in the door so to speak. You should be able to find details of volunteer work on the FC website.
    My gut feeling is they'll probably say no to the camping but it's always worth asking.
     
  4. sapper1

    sapper1 Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    swansea
    The FC won't allow any organised activities on thier land unless you have £5,000,000 public liability insurance.
    You have to get written permission from them for any activity other than walking and the application form states that insurance is essential, once you have the insurance then they will process your application.
    Wild camping is definitely not allowed on any FC site(in wales).
     
  5. Brown Bear

    Brown Bear Forager

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cambridge
    Google maps satelite images are great for finding the remotest forest locations away from buildings and paths. That and and a very low key approach seem to be the best idea. And if you don't want to meet anyone, go when the weather is wet or freezing.
     
  6. Kerne

    Kerne Maker

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    As others have said, wild camping is not allowed on FC land BUT...

    Out of the way, no fire, late at night until early morning...

    I've done it with no bother but have always been en route from some A to some other B. Staying there and bushcrafting for a few days is a no-no.
     
  7. mayfly

    mayfly Full Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Switzerland and France
    Discussed this a few times with rangers in Northamptonshire where I used to live. I think treemonk is spot on:
    - make absolutely sure there are no stalkers around,
    - keep a low profile, minimum noise and absolutely no fires or any mess.

    If you ask permission, even if they know you well and are sympathetic, the truth is all rangers will say no because it is not legal, at which point you have no plausible line of defence if you then proceed!

    It is sadly equally true these days that rangers will turn a blind eye to horrendous fire/noise/litter for fear of assault by some lager laden Ray wannabe chav. Ah, the power of the black box in the corner.

    Chris
     
  8. Graham_S

    Graham_S Squirrely!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,989
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    I have an arrangement with a ranger in a piece of FC woodland.
    As long as I'm discrete and leave no trace I can camp whenever I like.
     
  9. DavidJT

    DavidJT Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,812
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    London (and Sweden/Norway/Suffolk when I can!)
    While we're on this subject can I mention a pet hate?
    My local large area of NFC woodland is littered with many very amateur undismantled natural shelters. First the culprits, presumably kids, have built shelters that couldn't stop a single drop of water, or the lightest breeze. Often hacking down, or breaking living branches. Then, being so proud of their efforts, they have promptly forgotten the other part of the RM program, where he describes the "leave no trace" philosophy. I try to take them down if I have time.
    Doesn't really inspire the Rangers to allow camping.
    One tip I could share is take a carrier bag with you, and tidy up some litter on your way. If stopped by the rangers, not only are you not leaving a trace but you are leaving the forrest cleaner than you found it. Maybe make more likely to turn a blind eye?
    Overall low profile, remote, late in early out is the way to go.
     
  10. moved on agiles10

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    uk
    what about the woodland trust forests?
     
  11. Goatboy

    Goatboy Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi Brown Bear,
    I'm an ex forester, both for the FC and private estates. It all depended on how you presented yourself with me, others I worked with generally had the same idea. If you looked like you were responsible and not about to either burn the place down or leave litter then I'd have a wee chat, swap ideas, point out good places for resources maybe even have a brew then leave you to have some fun. If you looked like trouble, were building a fire the size of a wicker man and were ****** I'd escort you to the boundaries and take note of your license plate.
    You just need to look at some of the areas of the national parks and how the public abuse them. Loch Lomond and the surrounding area is a toilet... literally. One of the nearest lochs to me is Loch Earn. Here the estate has a pretty good policy despite having a wave of idiots there most weekends.
    It's popular for fishing and they have a couple of rangers patrol the banks. When you set up camp they'll pop along ask if you're fishing ( you need a permit) and if not happily leave you alone with a request that you don't cut living wood or leave a mess. Heck the rangers even have bags of wood for sale in their van ( cheap too ) and a leaflet about not being an idiot. But still they have to prosecute folk for bringing chainsaws to cut trees for firewood, and rescue folk who get ****** and take boats out and then sink. The litter is unbelievable and most of these folk are fishermen and "bushcrafters" ala BG.:rant:
    Sorry on my :soapbox: there. ( the worst are the bloody "ramblers" ). I think you'll find most foresters / rangers pretty sympathetic to what you do - it's generally why they're there too. as long as they feel that a) your not going to cause trouble and b) be discrete and not trash the place.
    Cheers
    Goatboy.
     
  12. Hobbit on a String

    Hobbit on a String Tenderfoot

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Aberdeenshire (Turriff)
    I have to agree with GoatBoy,
    Since Scotland got the Open Acess law, every nutter and wanna be RM goes out and trashes the places we hold in our hearts,

    Do as he points out, talk to the Ranger and see what they say, if you turn up looking down your nose at them, dont be surprised to shown the boundery fence, or given so much hassle you will want to leave.

    Hobbit:You_Rock_
     
  13. Goatboy

    Goatboy Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Scotland
    Thanks for the vote of confidence Hobbit, we all have to show respect for each other I think!
     

Share This Page