Access for all at Hensol Forest

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An upgrade to the car park at Hensol Forest, near Cowbridge means that it’s now easier for wheelchair users and horse riders to access this popular woodland.

The new extra wide kissing gate allows people using motorised scooters or those pushing children in buggies to get from the car park into the woodland.

At the other end of the car park, a horse step-over has been installed so that horse riders can enter the woodland.

Jean Wilcox from Cardiff, who visits Hensol Forest with her granddaughter, Catrin, said, "Having brought my own children to Hensol Forest over the years, I am now bringing my granddaughter.

"I think Forestry Commission Wales has made real improvements for visitors here and the extra wide kissing gate makes getting out of the car park and into the woodland much easier while Catrin is still in a buggy."

Jo-Anne Anstey, Woodland Manager, Forestry Commission Wales, said, "Woodlands offer wide-ranging and exciting opportunities for recreation and so I am really pleased that, after discussion with the local community, we have improved access to Hensol Forest for wheelchair users and horseriders."

Hensol Forest dates back to around 1600 and the upgrade to access from the car park is part of a programme of work being carried out there by Forestry Commission Wales.

Earlier this year, vegetation was cleared from the areas between trees and along forest tracks – known as forest rides - to improve the appearance of the woodlands and to create new habitats for wildlife such as butterflies and birds. New information boards were erected in the car park to tell visitors about the benefits of the restoration work and to outline long-term aims for the woodland.


Forestry Commission Wales

About 14 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to other woodland owners and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.

Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Press office contact: Mary Galliers,, tel: 0300 068 0057