Geocaching - learning - orienteering - permits - volunteering
Geocaching is an increasingly popular sport that utilises GPS technology to locate and find hidden objects. If you simply enjoy the fun and challenge of looking and finding caches you are welcome to access our land on foot without seeking specific permission from us. Please abide by the Forestry Commission byelaws and GAGB Geocachers Code of Conduct. In addition please abide by all temporary signing where forest operations such as timber harvesting or other activities such as motor sports are taking place.
If you want to place a cache on Forestry Commission land in Chopwell Woodland Park we need to agree with you the location of the cache to ensure it does not conflict with other recreational activities, forest operations, sensitive wildlife or habitats and is safe for cache finders to look for. To do this we ask that you agree to the Forestry Commission byelaws (available on request) and GAGB Geocachers Code of Conduct. Please contact Linda Scott as appropriate with your name, postal, email and phone contacts plus the grid reference of where you would like to place your geocache and the dates your geocache will be 'live'.
On receipt of your email we will check you proposals with operational, ecological and wildlife members of staff for approval. This consultation process will take 5 weeks to complete. On approval, your sites will remain 'live' for 12 months. At the end of this period you must either remove the geocache or make a further request to extend the duration that the site remains live by another year. Please note that the Forestry Commission takes no responsibility for the security of your geocache and reserves the right to remove the geocache at any time.
Chopwell Wood is a fantastic venue for a forest adventure and it is easily accessible from Newcastle and Gateshead. Groundwork Northeast offer an education service for visiting schools and groups that includes use of the Forest Classroom. To find out more about led-activities, call Groundwork on 0191 567 2550. Groups who intend to organise a self-led visit are still required to make contact with the local Forestry Commission ranger team and complete a booking form.
Orienteering is a sport where competitors navigate their way between control points marked on a specially drawn map. In other words, map reading for the adventurous! There is one orienteering permanent course in the forest which has been specially designed for beginners and school groups. Anybody can have a go - to purchase a map call the Friends of Chopwell Wood on 01207 542495 and set off on an adventure!
Chopwell Wood is a working forest and welcomes those members of the public who wish to visit for recreational purposes. Those who wish to use the forest estate for a specific purpose will require a permit. The Forestry Commission issues permits for many different reasons including survey work, events such as bike races, firewood permits and those users requiring vehicle access. If you wish to acquire a permit, are unsure whether your proposed activity requires a permit or for further information about the permit system please contact Laura Turtle or telephone 01388 488312.
If you want to get some fresh air and make a difference in your local forest, the Forestry Commission and partner organisations offer a number of opportunities to lend a hand with a variety of projects and events.
The rangers lead volunteers on selected days to undertake trail checks and maintenance of the facilities. Please email Darren Best or call 01388 488312 for a chat about volunteering opportunities.
Local community group the Friends of Chopwell Wood run regular conservation days where you are invited to come along, learn some new skills, meet new friends and get some gentle exercise while doing your bit for the wood. Recent tasks have included willow weaving, coppicing, bulb planting and charcoal making. Alternatively, willing hands are always welcome to help at major events such as the Christmas Tree Sales. For further details, contact Liz Searle on 01207 542495.