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Your comments on Cannock Chase Forest

5 Stars 5 Stars

My wife and I spent two days tramping your fabulous forest - 10.16 miles on day 1 and 10.75 miles on day 2 - and enjoyed it immensely. We only came to check it out and now we'll be returning for more. Thank you for all your work in managing this wonderful space.

One (small) jarring note was the proliferation on little black bags dropped by the wayside. People, eh?

Mr Ian Forshaw, 8/Sep/2017

We are glad you enjoyed your time here! If you are planning to visit regularly, you may be interested in our Discovery Pass which covers parking for the year - more details can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/pass

Forestry Commission Response

Stopped here on Tuesday 22nd Aug for a break whilst touring on my motorcycle. I noted the car parking charge notices but when I checked closely motorcycles weren't listed, not even to say they're free. Being an honest person I went to the office but it was closed. Not wanting to risk it I carried on to Wolseley Garden Centre and had my break there so you lost my custom.

Are motorcycles free here? I note while surfing the FC site that other venues list a flat charge of 2 for motorcycles making you one of the few places that charge. Is this an attempt to deter motorcyclists?

Ian, 24/Aug/2017

Thank you for your feedback. Our car parking charges are how we raise the revenue required to maintain the cycling and walking trails, facilities, and play features here at Birches Valley, and we would like everyone who visits to contribute to this. However we understand that on a motorcycle you are limited to how you can display a ticket but we would encourage you to buy a ticket and keep it on your persons.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Had my first trip to Cannock to ride the Dog and Monkey trails on Saturday and absolutely loved it. 6 is a fair price to pay to use the facilities, I can't understand why people are complaining when you see how well maintained the whole set up is, will definitely be back again soon!

Michael, 21/Aug/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

I have never visited this part of Britain before but needed to drive through this forest to reach my destination. How have they managed to conceal this amazing 26 sq mile forest in the heart of England? Recommended for all campers, walkers, etc. Its just beautiful.

Just passing through., 9/Aug/2017
2 Stars 2 Stars

Absolutely horrific place, putting charges up for the car park will encourage more idiots to park outside the forestry commission! It's already an absolute joke driving past these places. Maybe get a parking attendant out to these idiots to gain more money rather than charging the honest people yet more!

Anonymous, 17/Jul/2017

Car parking revenue enables us to look after Cannock Chase Forest for people and wildlife. Some of the work we do is visible but some is less visible and includes our expert team looking after the wider forest. We feel that £6 for a day at Cannock Chase Forest still represents good value for money, as it includes use of the toilets, walking trails, cycling trails, car park, picnic areas and play areas and we know that many of our visitors feel the same way.

Forestry Commission Response

Great place & the kids love exploring all the fairy tales and Gruffalo hunting. When is the Fairy / enchanted woodland day? Haven't seen any adverts on here or Facebook this year.

Claire, 16/Jul/2017

We are glad you enjoy your visit to us! Our Enchanted Forest day is on 9th August this year. Full details can be found in our events section of our webpage.

Forestry Commission Response

What a disappointment rick astley's warm up act was. She was similar to Karen Carpenter but all her songs were the same and depressing. All around were saying the same, spoils evening. Audience did not smile but and were not paying attention to her dirge. WHEREAS Tom Jones was a brilliant night for all in every way, so well done Cannock Forestry for that one.

laura Duffy, 10/Jul/2017

who manages cannock chase just out of curiosity had a great day out there

Anonymous, 1/Jul/2017

We are glad you enjoyed you day out! Cannock Chase has multi-ownership, mainly between Forestry Commission (based at Birches Valley) and Staffordshire County Council (based at Marquis Drive).

Forestry Commission Response

When are you doing the next demo day

Anonymous, 9/Jun/2017

Our upcoming events will be listed on our event webpage and on relevant event organisers webpages.

Forestry Commission Response

Visited the Chase today and walked Arpund the green route st Milford, was so disappointed to see lots of poop filled bags half way around the loop under a tree, their is no bin at Milford, I carried mine all the way round and home, why carnt other people do the same, so saddened for the wildlife

Tracy Ridgway, 29/May/2017

Milford Common is managed by Staffordshire County Council. We work hard to encourage people, such as yourself, to be responsible for their dog waste, and further information on FC dog policy can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/dogs.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Had a wonderful few hours walking with the dogs and the only complaint is please, could there be a few more seats around the walks. We aren't spring chickens any longer and are both suffering with serious health issues, but exercise is part of the treatment to keep us on the go. However during our walk, both of us needed to reast and recover but apart from the 2 seats around a small lake/pond, those were the only ones we were able to use.Perhaps a couple of logs could be placed near to the path? Other than that we loved it and intend coming back again very soon.PS the dogs are absolutely cream crackered and are fast asleep!

Connie Davis, 5/May/2017

We are glad you enjoyed your visit and we'll take your comments on board when looking at the facilities at Cannock Chase, we currently plan to have some more resting spots around our Ladyhill Trail this year.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

As a keen mountain biker I visit birches valley frequently, I went today with my husband and had my bike stolen in broad daylight from the top of a car which it was locked to. Absolutely gutted. I would like to see security stepped up as my husband had his bike stolen a few years ago from here in very similar circumstances. Such a shame, great MTB track but we won't be back.

Marcelle Chester-McCabe, 29/Apr/2017

We are sorry to hear about the theft of your bike. We work closely with the police and we would recommend you do not leave your valuables unattended. If you do see suspicious activity please report it to our Rangers and 101.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi there

I'd like to take my dog for a walk along the fair oaks trail and pools , what time can you come along as we prefer to walk first thing in the morning due to our dog being anxious around other dogs .

Maria , 2/Apr/2017

Our Car Parks are open from dusk until dawn, full opening details can be found on our 'planning your visit' section.

Forestry Commission Response

Not happy last week walked our dog as usual and there were lots of horses and horse boxes all though I don't mind horses why should they not be made to clear up there manure it was everywhere yet dog walkers are fined and looked down on if don't clean it up

Mrs I Blake, 18/Mar/2017

Thank you for your comments. There is no current requirement for horse riders for horse riders to pick up horse droppings after them. Unlike dog faeces, droppings from healthy horses pose minimal risk to human health. Re-mounting a horse can often be unsafe for horse riders, especially without horse mounting posts.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Would be 5 star but for the discarded dog poo bags at favoured dog walking spots. No signs or instructions of what to do with dog mess and no bins provided.

Diane Mahon, 13/Mar/2017

Our Forest code is to bag and bin your dogs waste around our visitor centres and to 'Stick and Flick' their dog waste into the undergrowth. We display posters with this information around our visitor centre and more details can be found on our website www.forestry.gov.uk/dogs

Forestry Commission Response

Im looking at purchasing a Cannock chase forest pass.

Is this what you call the Cannock and Hicks lodge pass?

Does it cover Chasewater? What other centres does it cover please?

ANNETTE JENKINS, 26/Jan/2017

This is our Discovery pass and covers a years parking at Birches Valley and Hicks Lodge, amongst other benefits. More information available at www.forestry.gov.uk/pass

Forestry Commission Response

What a shame stick man and gruffalo has gone. The star gazing trail is a lovely idea but not aimed at the same age. A pity you could not keep both

Anonymous, 18/Jan/2017

Thank you for your feedback, visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalowhere you can sign up to be the first to find out when the Gruffalo returns!

Forestry Commission Response

Hi there

We are planning to do the Gruffalo trail on Thursday 19 January for my son's 2nd birthday and I just wanted to check if the trail will be open and if we can get activity packs?

Many thanks.

Gary

Gary , 17/Jan/2017

Hi, the Gruffalo has taken a short break but visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo to be sign up and be the first to find our when he's returning. Our Gruffalo Sculpture is still on-site.

Forestry Commission Response

Has the stick man trail ended?

Anonymous, 10/Jan/2017

Yes, our Stick Man trail has now ended. We currently have our Star Gazing trail on site. you can sign up at forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo to find out about future Gruffalo Trails.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

amzing

Anonymous, 28/Nov/2016

Hi. We are from Kent and were planning on visiting during the October half term. Pls can you advise if the stick man/gruffalo trail etc will be open for half term?

Anonymous, 13/Oct/2016

Hi Amanda, our Stick Man Trail will be open for Staffordshire Half Term. Please visit our 'Planning Your Visit' section of our website for information on current closures. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

I come to the Chase often with my kids as love locally to Birches Valley. The Gruffalo trail is always a favourite especially the stick houses & the children's play park at the end of the trail. For a 5 minute drive from my house; it's easily accessible & keeps my kids entertained for hours.

HOWEVER, I'm disappointed that for the scale of the Chase there is nowhere; not even 1 acre, set aside for off road vehicles. Doesn't need to be by Birches Valley but it certainly doesn't cater for everyone and I have 2 very disappointed boys who can't use their local park for their 50cc bikes. As I said, for the scale of the pro I don't think it's too much to set aside a small piece of land-away from the other park users who don't want to partake.

Local , 9/Oct/2016

We are glad that you enjoy our facilities at Birches Valley. We do not have an area for off-road vehicles as Cannock Chase is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for its beautiful landscape, its wildlife and its history. As land owners we, and other land owners, follow a Management Plan to ensure we continue to protect and enhance this area. Cannock Chase attracts over 2.5 million visitors and we have to consider their safety when allowing other vehicles onto our land.

Forestry Commission Response

I love the chase & walk my dog here everyday would it be possible to have an outside serving hatch to buy takeaway coffee as i won't leave my dog outside when I'm alone please

Julia, 7/Oct/2016

Hi Julia, thank you for your comment. Our Café is run by an external company, AE Catering, and I will pass your comments onto them.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

This place is great for all ages with a fantastic park a nice cafe (prices could be a bit cheaper)

A brilliant place to monkey about at go ape and some beautiful seanery. It also has children's trails like the grufalo trail and quiet a phew bike trails if you have a bike. I think that this place is a great place that any one could visit.

Sophie, 6/Oct/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

First visit. Only spent an hour there whilst senior family members visited relatives in the area. Nice cafe, beautiful setting, perfect for families with or without dogs. Only minor criticism is the lack of bins for dog poos and general waste bins for picnic and food waste.

Angus , 1/Sep/2016

Just wondered if Birches Valley suitable for someone in a motorised scooter. Many thanks

Cynthia Cooke, 30/Aug/2016

Hi, Some of our tracks are flat, surfaced trails such as our Ladyhill and Fairoak Trail which are suitable for Wheelchair users. Our full Accessibility statement can be found here http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-8jhhah. We hope you enjoy your visit to us

Forestry Commission Response

Good trails but needs a pump track/jump track for jump bikes seems to be stuff for trail riders and downhill riders bit nothing for jump bikers as the bikes wont handle stile cop and the trails are to far on a jump bike. Are we going to see a jump/pump track there?

ash, 29/Aug/2016

Thank you for your feedback and we are glad you enjoy our trails. We will take your comments on board and use them for future planning.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

would love to enjoy a walk around the woods between style cop car park and the cemetery but yet again motor bikes wizzing round at 8pm,signs up for horse not to be on there but ok for motorbikes?

Anonymous, 16/Aug/2016

We are sorry this has spoilt your visit. It is illegal for Motorbikes and Quad bikes to ride on our land and they can be fined for doing so. We will look at putting information around this area. You can also help us minimise this by reporting illegal access and incidents to 101.

Forestry Commission Response

Its posiible picking wild mushrooms in this forest?

aim, 15/Aug/2016

The Forestry Commission encourages people to learn to identify fungi and forage small amounts for personal consumption. We do not permit commercial foraging. We support the England ‘Wild Mushroom Pickers Code’ which can be found here http://www.britmycolsoc.org.uk/index.php?cID=346

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Another fab day on the chase at the enchanted forest activity. Kids loved it we are so lucky to have this beautiful well kept forest on our doorstep. Only criticism (not of forestry commission) is the irresponsible dog owners who think it is acceptable to not pick up their dog poo.... Shame on you... Thanks again for another great day out

Victoria coulton, 10/Aug/2016

We are glad you enjoy Birches Valley. We work hard to promote responsible dog ownership and we hope this did not affect your visit to us.

Forestry Commission Response

what is the accessibility like for the forest please? Any stiles or problems with mobility scooter access?

bev, 30/Jul/2016

The Forestry Commission tries to offer quality woodland access to the widest range of visitors as possible. Read our access statement for more information about accessibility at Birches Valley Forest Centre. If you have specific questions or need any more information please send us an email info-cannock@forestry.gsi.gov.uk http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/cannockchase-birchesvalleyaccessstatement-v1.pdf/$FILE/cannockchase-birchesvalleyaccessstatement-v1.pdf

Forestry Commission Response

My reply is there are no bins at all in the forest, I have not come across any litter but does this mean that you dont want dog owners to pick up their poo being as the only bins are the coffee shop.

Sue Rowbotham, 25/Jul/2016

Our Forest code is to bag and bin your dogs waste around our visitor centres and to 'Stick and Flick' their dog waste into the undergrowth. More details can be found on our website www.forestry.gov.uk/dogs

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Lovely place to visit, the only criticism I have is that there are no dog bins, if you want people to clear up after their dogs and as dog owners we are constantly informed that we should do this everywhere we go. Responsible dog owners like myself do clear but have to carry our dog poo with us or leave it somewhere and remember to collect it on the way back and dispose of it in the bins in the coffee shop.

Sue Rowbotham, 18/Jul/2016

Thank you for being a responsible dog owner, we have reviewed the number of bins available however from looking at other Forestry Commission sites it seems that increasing the number of bins doesn't decrease the amount of litter found in the forest.

Forestry Commission Response

Hello I have been trawling the Internet to find out if I need a permit to ride my horse on cannock chaee but just don't seem to find the answer! Also do you have bridle paths solely for horses?

Tracy, 13/Jul/2016

Hi, Cannock Chase AONB have recently developed some riding routes. Please email cannockchase@staffordshire.gov.uk for more information.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We had a fantastic small amount of time there yesterday, the kids particularly enjoyed the den building. Plenty to see and do for all ages. Good facilities. We shall be back in 2 weeks for longer next time ;)

Anonymous, 20/Jun/2016

Hi there are there any trails suitable for a pram

Clair, 17/Jun/2016

Yes, all the surfaced tracks - of which there are many - are suitable for a pram.

Forestry Commission Response

Please could you tell me if yoou do a party package sutible four 5 year old birthdaty party .

wendy Mcfadden, 8/Jun/2016

I am very sorry but we no longer do birthday parties at any of our woods.

Forestry Commission Response

Lovely day out! Just be careful and don't venture onto bike trails!

Martina, 5/Jun/2016
1 Star 1 Star

Went over to Cannock Chase yesterday for a bike ride and found that the dual use track down through Sherbrooke Valley seems to have been 'ploughed' up?. It has gone from a relatively flat even track to a boulder strewn mess, and is almost impossible to cycle along. I left this track and found that a number adjoining tracks have been treated similarly. Just what is going on!!.

Philip, 23/Apr/2016

This trail is partnership between Forestry Commission and Staffordshire County Council (SCC), of which the section you describe is SCC land. The current state of trail is below its usual standard, however is within the standard set out by the national cycling standard for blue graded trails. We will be working with SCC, who commissioned and managed the harvesting operations, on the next steps. The green graded Fairoak Trail is our recommended route suitable for all bikes. We hope this experience doesn’t stop your enjoyment of these trails, and we hope we can get the Sherbrook trail some way back to its original condition in the near future.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I love the chase, mtb trails are one of the best in UK. Some very irresponsible/anti social dog owners though, hanging poo from trees? Come on!! The chase is a working forest so there won't be bins every 5 metres. If you have a dog then you should be prepared to take the poo with you until you can dispose of it. Disgusting to come across these parcels.

In terms of litter? Just laziness isn't it? If you can carry it with you when it's full (cans, energy gels, sandwiches...) then surely it's easier to carry when empty??

Lee, 9/Apr/2016
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.