Forests and woods

Access in forests and woodland, including where forest operations are taking place.

Responsible behaviour by the public

The Access Code says:

You can exercise access rights in forests and woods. If you are cycling or horse riding, keeping to suitable paths and tracks can help to minimise any damage. If you have a dog with you, keep it under close control or on a short lead during the spring (April to July) so that breeding birds are not disturbed. Livestock might be present in some forests and woods so take care if you come across any animals. Be careful not to trample young trees.

Other information:

IMPORTANT - Ash die-back disease (Chalara dieback of ash (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) has been confirmed at several sites in Scotland.

Public access to woodlands is not restricted and the fungal disease is harmless to people and animals. The public are asked to take some simple precautions when visiting infected sites or other woodlands, and follow the advice on signs:

  • scrape any mud and leaves from footwear, pushchairs, bikes, cars, dogs and horses before leaving woodlands
  • before visiting other places, clean mud and leaves from footwear, pushchairs, bikes, cars, dogs and horses
  • do not remove leaves, plants or wood

If you are unsure whether a wood is infected, it is always good practice to follow this advice.

If you think you have spotted the disease, please check the symptoms video and pictorial guide before reporting it to Forestry Commission Scotland: 0131 314 6156 (9am - 5pm weekdays + out of hours messaging system) or by email [email protected].

Responsible behaviour by land managers

The Access Code says:

Assess the level and nature of public use of the forest or wood, and develop a plan to help manage for access on busy sites. Where possible, provide paths and other facilities, including interpretation, to help people to exercise access rights responsibly.

Find out more

Deer stalking in forests and woods

Last updated: