Permissions and permits
These are some of the common queries that we receive about using Scotland's National Forest Estate. If this information doesn't answer your query, or you'd like more information, please contact your nearest Forest District office.
If you are interested in organising an event on the National Forest Estate, please get in touch with the local Forest District office. Depending on the nature of your event, you may need to obtain official permission to hold it.
For the most popular types of events, we have developed standard event agreement and permissions procedures. If your event falls into one of these categories please follow the procedures detailed in these documents:
- Mountain biking events (PDF 773KB)
- Orienteering events (PDF 534KB)
- Dogsports events (PDF 541KB)
- Triathlon events (PDF 537KB)
The forest trails are open to everyone under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and we welcome horse riders to the forest. For the best places to ride and car parks to use, visit our recreation pages or contact your local Forest District office. BHS Scotland also provides some helpful responsible riding guidance.
Use of motor vehicles or motorbikes
Motor vehicles and motorbikes are not permitted on the National Forest Estate other than for motorsports events held according to the policy and agreements below. Contact your local Forest District office for more information.
Permission and permits for motorsports events are managed through exclusive agreements with the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) and the Scottish Auto Cycle Union (SACU):
- Motorsports policy statement (PDF 20KB)
- MSA FC Scotland and FC England master agreement (PDF 492KB)
- MSA FC Scotland concordat (PDF 158KB)
- ACU FC Scotland and FC England master agreement (PDF 235KB)
- ACU and SACU FC Scotland concordat (PDF 128KB)
In most forests, the car parks we provide on-site are free of charge. In some places, however, we offer extra facilities – such as toilets, visitor centres and trail networks – and at these sites we charge for car parking.
The money you pay goes towards maintaining them for everyone to enjoy.
Wherever we charge, you’ll find further information on the webpage for that specific forest. Season tickets are also available at several sites. Find out more by contacting your local district office.
Photography and filming
We're delighted for you to photograph and film as part of your visit. For commercial filming or photography, you'll need formal permission and a fee is normally charged. Contact your local Forest District office for more information, or read more about filming on Forestry Commission land.
Flying drones (unmanned aircraft) as an informal activity or hobby is not allowed on Scotland's National Forest Estate. This is because this activity is often incompatible with responsible access under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, particularly in a working forest environment, instances where people are enjoying quiet recreation, or where it may impact on people's privacy.
If you want to fly drones for professional reasons (such as commercial photography, film-making or surveying), please contact the relevant forest district office to apply for permission. Our permissions guidance (PDF 101KB) will assist you in seeking this permission, particularly in how you should meet the Civil Aviation Authority guidelines and be Dronesafe. Please also consider how your drone use might impact on other people's enjoyment of the forest and their privacy.
Find out about getting firewood permits or scavenging licences.
Regrettably, we unable to allow the placement of memorials on the National Forest Estate. Find out more about memorials and scattering ashes.
Placing geocaches on the National Forest Estate is allowed, subject to the conditions and guidance agreed with the Geocaching Association of Great Britain.