Scotland's national forests are almost entirely free to use. However, you may need to follow certain guidelines or obtain formal permissions for some events and activities.

Can't find the information you're looking for? Contact your nearest regional office.

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Buy a car park season ticket

At a few of our forests, we charge for car parking. The money you pay goes towards maintaining the extra facilities – such as toilets, visitor centres and trail networks – that are found at these sites. Wherever we charge, you’ll find further information on the webpage for that specific forest.

If you are a regular visitor to one of these forests, you may wish to purchase a season ticket. These can be bought by contacting your regional office.

Fly a drone in a forest

Flying drones (unmanned aircraft) as an informal activity or hobby is allowed in our forests, as long as the pilot is following the Civil Aviation Authority’s guidelines and the Drone Code.

Please note: The guidelines include the requirement to have your drone in sight at all times, which may not be possible in some forested areas.

If you want to fly drones for professional reasons (such as commercial photography, film-making or surveying), please contact the relevant regional office to apply for permission. Our permissions guidance (PDF 88KB) will assist you in seeking this permission, particularly in how you should meet the Civil Aviation Authority guidelines (particularly for commercial users).

Please consider how your drone use might impact on other people’s enjoyment of the forest and their privacy.

Obtain a firewood permit

Burning firewood can make a real saving on your home energy costs. Firewooding can be fun too.

Firewood Permits (Bulk)

For significant bulk buying. Customers will use a forestry haulier to receive a delivery of generally 10 tonnes plus, in lengths of around 3m. Contact your regional office for more information and prices.

Firewood Permits (Semi-Bulk)

By appointment, customers can self-collect marked bundles of firewood – again in around 3m lengths. Bundles are generally less than 3 tonnes. Specific sites and collection times can be arranged via regional offices.

Scavenging Licences

Subject to agreement with the local Forest District office and payment of a fee, customers can have access to a site for the purpose of collecting 'on-site' harvesting residues. Hand tools only are permitted. The duration of a permit is 3 months. Contact your regional office for more information.

Put on a sporting event

If you are interested in organising an event in our forests, please get in touch with the regional office in the first instance. 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:

Motorsports events

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):

Go horse riding in a forest

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 Horse riding page or contact your regional office. BHS Scotland also provides some helpful responsible riding guidance.

Drive my vehicle off-road in a forest

Motor vehicles and motorbikes are not permitted in our forests other than for motorsports events held according to the policy and agreements above. Contact your regional office if you have any questions.

Film or photograph within a forest

We are delighted for you to photograph and film as part of your visit. For commercial filming or photography, you will need formal permission and a fee is normally charged. Contact your regional office for more information.

Place a geocache in a forest

Placing geocaches on the National Forest Estate is allowed, subject to the conditions and guidance agreed with the Geocaching Association of Great Britain. 

Place a memorial in a forest

We are fortunate enough to manage many special places and wild landscapes that mean a great deal to many people. However, one of the main reasons these places are treasured, is precisely because they feel wild and natural.

We therefore ask people not to leave memorials in the forest – to respect the qualities that others have enjoyed and continue to enjoy.

Scattering ashes

As some of the habitats we manage are particularly fragile, containing rare plants and wildlife, we respectfully ask that you seek advice from the regional office before scattering ashes.

Flowers

If leaving flowers, please choose a secluded spot, away from other visitors. Please ensure they are real flowers that will readily biodegrade back into the soil and that all containers, wrappings and ties are removed from the site and disposed of responsibly.

Memorial benches

Regrettably, we are unable to accept or maintain memorial benches or similar items in our forests.

Make a donation towards a project

While we can’t plant and maintain memorial trees, you may wish to make a contribution for a loved one to a wider project; helping us care for a site they particularly valued. Projects will vary from site to site but may include tree planting schemes, enhancing a view or improving visitor facilities, to help others enjoy a special place. Again, we regret that no attribution or memorial can be part of the project.

Please contact your regional office for further details.