Forestry Commission logo

Discovery Pass

Discover the
freedom of
the forest…
every day of the year…

Get free parking, discounts on events and much more with an annual Discovery Pass


The ultimate free guide to our forests

Forest Xplorer running on iPhone and Android devices

Explore Bernwood Forest
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 4/5)

Bernwood Forest was part of The Royal Hunting Forest of Bernwood, which covered approximately fifty modern day parishes, and recieved royal protection for over 700 years. The Bernwood Jubilee Way, part of the project to reinforce the identity of the hunting forest, runs through a section of the wood on its 61 mile journey within the Ancient Forest Boundary.

Shabbington and Waterperry, the two woods that make up Bernwood Forest are gradually being converted to native broadleaf and continuous cover through natural regeneration. Hopefully in time these areas will revert to an Oak woodland with hazel understorey.

One of the main priorities is to encourage food plants for the wide variety of both rare and common butterflies which live in the Forest.


What do other visitors say?

Hi, it's possible to use a metal detector there?

Many thanks.

Alberto Ruiz, 12/Nov/2017

Thanks for the enquiry. We do not currently permit metal detecting on the public forest estate, unless part of an organised group (e.g. archaeology).

Forestry Commission Response

Hi can explain why Horse riding is not permitted .

We have very ristricated riding in this area and it would be Fantastic to have access to even some of it .

The tracks are there !

Jo Fletcher , 18/Jun/2017

I am afraid that we are not able to offer everything in all the woods that we manage. We try to use our resources to maximise the benefits to our visitors. With trails, it is not only about having the correct surface but also about regular inspections and maintenance. We do regularly review our provision against what resources we have available.

Forestry Commission Response

I'm just wondering if you have any picnic tables or benches at this site for people to rest on? I'm looking for somewhere to take the family on a picnic where we can sit in the shade. Also whereabouts is parking available and is it free? Thank you

Mimi, 16/Jun/2017

We don't currently have picnic tables at Shabbington, but you are welcome to take camping furniture or a rug to use in the meadow adjacent to the car park? The car park is located at grid reference SP611118 and it is free to park. There is a height restrictor so please check if you have a tall vehicle.

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

Last updated: 14th October 2017

Help us take care of your forest

Get the latest news, information & offers

What's Here?

  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Wildlife
  • The wood contains about forty species of butterflies making it one of the most important sites for Lepidoptera in Britain. Many species of wild flower are present along the rides, within the wood. These are carefully managed by Forest Enterprise to provide the butterflies with a varied habitat and food source. Bernwood is also home to Fallow and Muntjac deer and many species of fungi.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SP 613117

Get directions


Wendover Woods Office

0300 067 4160 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings) 07796 313507 all other times

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.