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Your comments on Gisburn Forest & Stocks

3 Stars 3 Stars

The Forest and Stocks have miles of paths to tire the children and dog out. The weather held off for us yesterday and it was a nice family day out walking. The church on the way down to the stocks from Gisburn Hub was quaint and well worth a look in. The Gruffalo trail was good. The children enjoyed it. It takes about 20 minutes to get round. It was looking a little tired though, a few of the signs around the trail were broken and there isn't really a lot too it. The stick men are really good but that is about the only physical feature of the trail apart from some shelters/dens that have been constructed which the kids had fun looking around.

As previously mentioned the bin situation is detrimental to the forest. With there being not one single public bin there is litter all around the forest and gruffalo trail, the car park also looks like a favourite spot to leave your rubbish. I'm sure people wouldn't mind paying a little bit more for the fascililities to be maintained and managed a little better.

Point to note the Cafe is cash only and there are no ATM's for several miles.

Anonymous, 10/Aug/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

I came with my Grandma and Grandad and had a brilliant time. Grandad wrote this...

One day we searched for the Gruffalo

Followed the trail both high and low,

Saw some creatures, but don't you know;

There was no sign of the Gruffalo.

We saw some signs saying where to go,

Spotted a mouse, and a fox, and so

We stayed alert, and looked, but no

We saw no sign of the Gruffalo.

We went on pathways, to and fro,

an owl and snake themselves did show,

And then we thought 'its time to go!'

as we were chased by the Grufflao.

Our time spent looking seemed to flow

(With children we could not go slow)

I think, next time we visit though,

We'll try to dodge that Gruffalo.

Isaac Houston, 27/Jul/2017

Love this! Thanks for sharing and really great to hear you enjoyed your adventures at Gisburn.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Excellent bike trails loads of fun great day out for all ages

Rob, 1/Jun/2017

Thank you :o)

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3 Stars 3 Stars

A really great day out with my nine year

old son.

The actual tracks are fantastic and good facilities,

you can tell a lot of hard works gone into the

course.

I have to say though, the signage for

the Mtb routes is very poor. We got lost a few

times today. Other venues we have visited

are much clearer than here. It would help if

every junction was numbered.

Anonymous, 13/May/2017

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, really great to hear you enjoyed your visit to Gisburn. We have had the 8 way-marking independently checked and no problems were reported but we will pay particular attention to waymarking next time we check the trails. The posts at main junctions are numbered and have sections names and OS map references marked on them. You can download a map from the cycling trail page of the website which may help with wayfinding on future trips.

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4 Stars 4 Stars

Had a lovely day doing gruffalo trail and some den building with children. Cafe was great and lovely scenery and walks. Shame there are no bins though. We took our rubbish home. However as a dog owner I noticed although there are signs saying to pick up their poo there was no where to put it. Who wants to carry bags of dog poo around all day or take home in the car?! We didn't have our dogs with us this time thankfully.

Anonymous, 21/Apr/2017

We have been operating a no bins policy for many years in anticipation that all our visitors help to keep the forest tidy and we can keep the car park charges at an acceptable level. We are considering putting bins in the car park for visitors who are unwilling to help by taking their litter home. Sadly, if we put bins in the car park we will have to consider raising car park charges to cover the additional cost of emptying bins and disposing of the waste.

Forestry Commission Response

Visited on Easter bank holiday Monday for the Gruffalo trail. A good day, but spoilt by the very poor lack of parking as there seemed to be an "event" on as well which meant my wife, who has to use a stick and can't walk too far, myself and our two children had to walk up from the lower car park along the road, which was busy and dangerous with stressed out day trippers trying to get in and out. The maps in the car park didn't show any means of getting to the hub a safer way unless you were a cyclist using a trail. We would probably go again but please sort out access a little better!Not everyone who can't walk far has access to a blue disability badge.

Andy Haines, 17/Apr/2017

Sorry to hear you had problems with parking when you visited. We are aware that the car park gets over full on bank hols and sunny Sundays since we introduced the Gruffalo trail in March. We are planning for increased capacity, but sadly are unable to make significant changes quickly. There are 5 disabled parking spaces at the Hub car park – if someone genuinely has mobility difficulty we are happy for them to park in one of these designated spaces. We’ll check out the signage from Cocklet Hill car park – this was only ever intended as a bikers car park but we recognise that usage may have changed, especially on these very busy days. We hope you'll return and enjoy another visit, perhaps on a quieter day!

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Visited on Easter Monday which was a busy day but we were able to find a parking space. The post code on the sat nav did not take us to the Hub but a private road some 3 miles away. The Gruffalo huntvwas very enjoyable and well worth doing for younger children. The cafe was dissapointing as they are unable to take cards but do not mention this anywhere. Overall a good day and will visit again on a quieter day.

Gerry, 17/Apr/2017

We are aware of the need for increasing capacity for Bank Holidays, especially with the popularity of the Gruffalo trail, but unfortunately there is little we can do in the short term. The correct post code for Hub is BB7 4TS –there is an issue with one of the SATNAV map providers (Tomtom) having erroneously included the whole forest road network on the maps that they are selling – the result is that some satnavs try to bring cars in from the other side of the forest where there are barriers over the road. We have put signs up at this point and have lobbied TomTom to change their maps. The café were unable to process card payments due to shortage of broadband but this should be resolved shortly. We will ensure information online is updated.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

Not for walkers! The Forestry Commission website states that Gisburn is good for both walking and biking but in my experience, the walking trails/tracks are a distant afterthought. All the decent tracks are 'bike only' leaving just the tarmac roads/paths for the walkers. There are only 2 marked walking trails in the forest (not including the reservoir) and around 7 or 8 (or more) biking tracks. I'd recommend taking your OS map and picking your own walking route. I luckily had my OS map with me which showed the public footpaths in the forest. Without the map I would have totally missed them as they are not signposted within the forest and don't seem to be walked upon much. Only the bike tracks are signposted. I did notice whilst I was there that walkers were looking at the bike trail map notice board and asking each other "which one shall we do?". Maybe the confrontation between walkers and cyclists comes from the trail being incorrectly interpreted by walkers as a walking route. We stuck to the walking paths and found there to be no issues with cyclists. This place is primarily for biking which is great that bikers have somewhere to go but the website should be clearer.

Dan W, 17/Apr/2017

Sorry to hear that you experienced some difficulty finding the walking tails. We have 5 waymarked walking trails in the forest, plus the round reservoir walk – 6 walking trails in total (compared to 5 bike trails). The information panel at the Hub car park has separate walking and biking trail panels. Our leaflet available at the café and the Hub car park has walking trails and bike trails on it. We will review the content on the website and make whatever changes we can to make things clearer. A walking map will be available to download from this website very soon.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Love the walks and runs with my cocker spaniel. Would would it if you could set up a dog agility course we could use whilst out walking.

saints, 12/Apr/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Visited yesterday for the first time. We took our three year old daughter for the gruffalo spotting and for a picnic and walk. We spent around three hours there due to arriving late in the day but could have easily spent six or more hours exploring. Absolutely spectacular woodland and the gruffalo spotting is great fun for the kids, my three year old took the lead on the trail and could follow all of the clues herself with just a little help from us, she felt like a real adventurer. The cafe staff were exceptional even when we arrived back after closing time, re opening to allow us to get ice cream and all with a smile. Cannot wait to return and explore further. It's a big site and must be difficult to monitor all the time so this isn't a criticism of rangers/volunteers/staff but there were one or two areas where visitors had dropped litter. I can't really understand why people don't take it away with them, everyone should do their bit to help maintain this outstanding place to visit and taking rubbish back with you is a pretty easy way to do that, however, this was not a big issue and took nothing away from our experience. All the trails and other areas where well maintained and clearly well looked after. We loved gisburn forest.

Bryan, 9/Apr/2017

Thank you for taking the time to send us this lovely feedback about your visit, so pleased to hear you and your daughter enjoyed our Gruffalo Spotters trail!

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Had a lovely walk round the forest but was disappointed in the lack of signs and got lost on more than one occasion. The amount of litter on the paths was heartbreaking and it's a shame that cyclists and walkers cannot take their litter home.

Sarah Jane, 12/Dec/2016

Thanks for your feedback and sorry that you experienced some difficulties with the waymarking. The trails are inspected regularly so we'll pass your comments back to the ranger team to review and investigate improvements.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Excellent. Completed the blue trail (carefully) with my 5 year old daughter on her tag along bike! Blue trail is technical enough to be fun for mums and dads, but still possible to do with little ones. Facilities are excellent too and parking 3.00 for thee day. Will definitely be back.

Anonymous, 24/Sep/2016
3 Stars 3 Stars

First time last Monday & Tuesday, was very boggy ground on Monday but still lots of fun, we did get lost though so I think could maybe do with being signposted a little better/clearer but all in all excellent day out and will be planning to go again as soon as I think we'll get a good few days sun so fingers crossed I'm not waiting to long lol thanks to all the volunteers that helped with creating it :)

Dale, 25/Aug/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

Completed the new Stick Man trail at Gisburn today. Great length walk for our nearly 3 year old. The all terrain pram for our nearly 1 year old did not make it round (despite reading beforehand it's grass/ soil paths and tree trunks we thought we would try after a number of rain free days). Great coffee and ice cream at The Hub!

Anonymous, 17/Aug/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

Completed the blue trail twice today with my 7 year old girl. Rough and tough in places on her 24" wheeled hardtail but a good next step up from the likes of the Minotaur at Coed Y Brenin.

Also, the cafe has finally re-opened - looks good so far. Friendly staff and lots of choice!! We will be back but next time, we won't need to bring a picnic!

Great blue trail and new cafe tenants at last!!, 30/May/2016

Can u send me details regarding running the cafe thanks

Mandy pickering, 15/Apr/2016

Unfortunately the café tender has now closed but we will forward your details to the Gisburn team for future reference. All current tender opportunities are listed on the following website: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/england-tenders

Forestry Commission Response

Could you give me some details about the cafe and who we contact to talk to about this. Thank you Kim

Kim Parker, 29/Mar/2016

If you send your contact details to enquiries.northengland@forestry.gsi.gov.uk we can pass your enquiry to the correct member of staff. Information on all current business opportunities is available on our tenders webpage, http://www.forestry.gov.uk/england-tenders

Forestry Commission Response

Rode around the forest on our bikes, much of it on fire-roads but some on the trails. I have not visited this forest for 20 years (even though we only live 20 miles away) but what a fabulous peaceful day we had. We will certainly be back.

Chris, 20/Mar/2016

Hi who would a contact regarding a interest in running the Forest Den Cafe.

paul, 22/Feb/2016

Thanks for your interest in the café, we've sent you an e-mail with the contact details.

Forestry Commission Response

We visited the hub during the week. This is not a complaint but just to alert that the ladies toilet doors in the newly built block have swollen in the wet and we were unable to get any of them to shut so the facilities could be used in privacy. Might need a bit of adjustment. Thanks.

Default, 24/Jan/2016

Thanks for letting us know, we'll ask the rangers to take a look.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi, Do you welcome bikejoring at Gisburn Forest?? Thanks

Col, 10/Jan/2016

Hi, one of our rangers will contact you directly to discuss the options and possibilities for bikjoring

Forestry Commission Response

Thinking about visiting to try out the Blue run with a view to bringing my 2 girls (aged 7 and 8). I'm in between bikes and only have a hybrid at the moment. Is the Blue run doable on a hybrid? Thanks

Simon, 21/Sep/2015

An adult rider with some off road experience should be fine on our blue trail, even on a hybrid type bike. It is difficult for us to advise on your daughters without knowing what level of experience they have; some youngsters can struggle, others will fly round. The trail was designed for mountain bikes and includes a couple of "fun" sections with tighter twists and turns. The two trickiest sections of our blue trail are "The Snake" from the trail start at Gisburn Forest Hub to marker post number 10 and "Park Wood" between marker post numbers 4 and 5. Both of these sections are easily bypassed along forest road if you are not sure - have a look at the downloadable map on the Gisburn bike trail section of our website. The skills loop at Gisburn Forest Hub has a blue loop that will give you an idea of what to expect.

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