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NEWS RELEASE No: 1555917 JULY 2012

Forest days out offer value for money for families

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Child at play

Are you worried about the cost of days out over the school holidays?  According to a recent report by charity Family Action, many children in ‘poor and middle-income families’ face a summer of being ‘stuck at home’ as their parents struggle to afford family days out. 

In response, the Forestry Commission is encouraging families to get out and about exploring their local forest – a perfect, value for money day out.

The Public Forest Estate in England already hosts over 40 million visits every year and offers excellent value for money.  It has 177 walking trails, 106 cycling centres, 28 visitor centres, 24 campsites, 16 art installations, 73 equestrian facilities and 15 forest drives! 

Many sites have wonderful picnic areas, outdoor play areas and some free barbecue areas so people can bring their own food to save money too.  Or there are a range of wonderful on site cafés that offer good value for money options.  People can find out where their nearest forest is by visiting or by downloading our free ForestXplorer app

Some forests charge a relatively small amount for parking but are otherwise entirely free to visit.  All sites that charge for parking offer a Discovery Pass which includes free parking for a whole year as well as a range of other benefits – visit for details.

The other wonderful thing about forests is they are great places to visit whatever the weather.  Even if the great British summer lets us down forests are still fun places to be.  A canopy of trees provides the ideal shelter from the rain and sometimes exploring on foot or two wheels is even more fun when it’s muddy! 

Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair, says:

“All over the country there are Forestry Commission woodlands open every day where families can be out and active at very little cost.  The recent report by the Independent Panel on Forestry highlighted the value that forests can add to people’s lives and our aim at Forestry Commission England is to get as many people as possible in to our forests having fun whatever the weather and regardless of what is in their wallets.” 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.  Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.  Further information can be found at
  2. The Forestry Commission manages the Public Forest Estate in England – which is over 250,000 hectares