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Your comments on Chopwell Woodland Park

Can you take dogs?

Anonymous, 7/Nov/2017

Dogs are welcome in the wood off the lead but under control. Please note there are no dog bins in Chopwell Wood so you are required to bag and take home any waste deposited around picnic sites and car parks. In the wider wood, you can 'stick and flick' dog waste off paths and into the deeper undergrowth.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Fantastic woods, really enjoyed the visit today but could have got hopelessly lost as a couple of posts were missing their green arrows and guessed which route to take at a junction. Reaching the car park again, saw a notice board with a note explaining that some signage was being changed and to memorise the walks. Need better signage at entrance to car park to look at board please.orx

Caroline, 18/Oct/2017

Is there toilet facilities in chopwell woods.

Anonymous, 22/Sep/2017

Sorry, there are no toilet facilities for visitors in the wood.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I love walking chopwell. I moved away a few years ago but I am moving back as I miss these woods so much and there pull to them is over powering. The autumnal colours was spectacular last time I walked there.

M. Robinson, 20/Sep/2017

In the late 1960's I had a friend who lived with his parents in the Woodcutter's Cottage in Chopwell Wood. His name was John H **** ( unfortunately I've forgotten his surname ) and he was brought up in the area and attended local schools. I wondered if someone might remember the family .

Gordon Ferguson, 9/Aug/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

Love Chopwell woods. It's a fantastic place where my chocolate lab can run free and get all the sniffs in she needs. Also great for my son to explore the trails on his bike. The only reason I haven't given 5 stars is the lack of signage for trails at the moment. We got lost a few times yesterday as we couldn't see the markers showing us which way to go. I think it would also be a good idea to have a toilet facility in the main car park. An eco friendly one would suffice which would require practically no upkeep bar replenishing toilet paper and hand wash.

Madge, 30/Jul/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Bombed the mountain bike trails fell off a few times but had a blast the people refurbishing the trails are realy nice and weren't bovered by me going past them.wish there was an easier way up.

Jonathan McClen, 29/May/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Have been to chopwell quite few times never disappointed the grandchildren and dogs love it great way to spend family time togtherlove it

jeanette cooke, 12/May/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

Great first visit today. The poor weather must have scared the masses away on this Easter Sunday but it was so tranquil. We enjoyed every second. The only down side was no bins at all, not even for our doggy waste. Is it at all possible for a bin to be placed in each car park?

We also saw quite a few 'dog parcels' on our walk, many of which had been bagged by owners. Maybe there would be less around if there was a suitable receptacle on site.

Cathy Lawson, 16/Apr/2017

Chopwell Wood is a free site to visit and as such we are unable to provide bins and the resources that are required to manage them and the rubbish this would produce. We ask all visitors to take responsibility for their rubbish and take it home - and this includes dog waste.

Forestry Commission Response

I had my 3 French Bulldogs there for a very long walk today. The woods are beautiful, there are plenty of paths off the main tracks so we 'off-roaded ' most of the walk. Hardly saw a soul.

I let the dogs run about when no one else was about, there were a couple of groups of walkers on the main paths, some with dogs. Everyone immediately put their dogs on the leash as we approached, no problem, no incidents just good dog walking manners.

Thoroughly enjoyed my day off in chopwell woods with the dogs. I usually only go for a Christmas tree but will be a regular in future. We are very lucky to have this, the derwent walk, gibside and watergate park so close together and so well looked after.

Christine Howard , 30/Nov/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

I've already commented on my previous walk along the Red Trail which was well marked right up to Coal Tubs way, then we didn't see any Red arrow and we turned Left and as I've said ended up in Chopwell. However we done this walk again yesterday and when we got to the top of the trail past Diggers Folly and up to Coal Tubs way we saw the Red Arrow Marker pointing walkers to the right. I think this marker must have just been put in , so thank you to the forestry rangers. We are coming back soon to do the green walk. We really love Chopwell woods

Catherine rose slater , 10/Oct/2016

Me and hubby went for a red trail walk today and it was really lovely until we couldn't find the red arrow and ended up crossing a road walking up a public footpath that brought us into Chopwell village from there we made our way high spen and eventually found our way back to the car park

Catherine Rose Slater , 22/Sep/2016
4 Stars 4 Stars

I have always been fond of chopwell woods but in the past couple of weeks my dog has been attacked twice. First incident was a guy with two staffys luckily I got my dog up and away from them quickly before they could get a hold of my dog and second incident a large lady with two large mongrels one of which decided to use my dog as a rag doll until I kicked it off. This woman was screaming at her dog as it ran towards my dog why not keep it on a lead it seems to me as she knew what was about to happen. If it wasn't for the carelessness and inconsideration of others then chopwell would be perfect as it is a well kept woodland for all to enjoy. This is a warning to anyone visiting with small dogs or children.

Concerned dog owner, 14/Sep/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

We had an excellent day in the sunshine walking in chopwell woods. Like others have commented we tried to follow the red route but signs just stopped ! We met 4 others also puzzled by the red route and which way to go next! Thanks to a very helpful local resident who showed us how to get back to the main carpark . Overall it certainly did not spoil a great day in a great place - we will do the green walk next and test out the signs for that! Thanks to everyone involved in the upkeep of this special place.

Anonymous, 30/Aug/2016

Signage really bad.Tried to follow red route and as soon as you get to a fork in the path with multiple routes then the signs stop, and your reduced to guessing and ending in walking miles out of your way and getting lost.

Anonymous, 5/Aug/2016

Sorry you had difficulty following the waymarked trails. Our team are currently strimming the vegetation around all the posts and the high vegetation may have obscured some of the posts. We will also recheck the red trail to ensure all the posts are still there and have not been vandalised.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Had wonderful experience today in woods having walked these woods from being an infant,and lived in Victoria garesfied, today I saw my first ever silver Fox...totally silver must have been young cub.wow. over 60 years of walking wow a delight.

Mrs Louise murdy, 13/Apr/2016
4 Stars 4 Stars

Top notch place.

J, 7/Mar/2016

Super walk in the woods today. Saw deer, red kites, mistle thrush and newts! However, signage is totally confusing. I was using a leaflet produced by "Friends of Chopwell Woods" which had various routes colour coded yet on the ground signage was missing or confusing. There also seems to be two sets of signs with the same colours (red and blue) but that are totally unrelated. It seems that two organisations are putting up different signage using the same colours for different routes.

I don't have a dog, but, as the previous user said, there should be some dog bins and notices to encourage dog owners to pick up mess.

I live near the woods and know them pretty well but for visitors from further afield, I can imagine that they could become very frustrated with the difficulty of planning and following suitable walks and won't come again.

Bernie, 25/Jan/2016
1 Star 1 Star

Been to Chopwell Wood today and leaving at dusk after showing Our 3 yr old the Christmas lights. Exit is clearly marked and stating one way rather than usual exit almost at end and logging truck coming towards us. Forced both me and Dad in his car to reverse about 400m down road to turn, watched me take wrong track back in dark then blocked our exit again. Was furious and scared lost in woods in dark with a 3 yr old in one car and a 3 month old baby in the other. Apparently this route is only for weekend and gate should have been closed!! Hoping this can be addressed as loggers seemed so un caring especially as we had young kids in the cars.

Amanda Hay, 8/Dec/2015

So sorry you had this unfortunate experience. The barrier should normally be locked and the signs covered, but after the high winds at the weekend, the signs had been uncovered. Immediately after the incident, the signs were taken down and timber hauliers reminded to keep the barrier locked at all times. Apologies again for the distress this caused your family.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Lovely woods however the trails signposting is virtually non-existent!

We wanted to follow the trails but couldn't find many signs at all.

Anonymous, 19/Oct/2015
4 Stars 4 Stars

Brilliant woods great for long walks, however why is there no dog poo bins?? There are signs up saying about picking up your dogs poo but there are no bins, I admit I don't pick it o for the simple fact I'm not going to leave plastic bags around the forest floor or take the bags home in my car. I'm tempted to take this further if there are no bins put in even just at the car park. As I feel this lets the forest down, please please put in some bins so I can pick it up and dispose of it in the proper way. Thank you!

Anonymous, 31/Aug/2015

Sorry, but the responsibility for disposal of dog waste lies with the owner. At Chopwell there are no bins as it is a free to visit woodland site and should be treated as a countryside site and not a town park - the Countryside Code applies. This means dog waste around the car park and on trails and grass verges should be bagged and taken home for disposal. In the wider forest, we tolerate a 'stick and flick' approach where waste can be flicked into the undergrowth (such as nettle or bramble) where feet are unlikely to tread. If all dog owners took this approach then there would not be an issue of dog waste in the forest.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

Bike ride route at chopwell woods:

four wooden pillars approx. 1m high have been placed at the end of a technical slope at the powerline route as you go from main car park. I think they are placed in order to slow people down at the end of a route because it runs onto a walkway with a ditch at the opposite end. However I feel that no consideration has been allocated for use with bikes that have wide handle bars (normal for downhill bikes 800mm wide) and the wooden pillars have limited visibility (dark brown which blends in with forest). I think it needs to be re-assessed as I feel they are dangerous as they are. Making them more visible would help, and allowing for a moving bike of wide handle bars would make it safe.

Duncan Mills, 13/Aug/2015

Thank you for your email. The rangers will look at ways of making the chicane more visible and allowing better passage for bikes without compromising the aim of the chicane to slow cyclists down before they meet the forest road.

Forestry Commission Response

the Woods are lovely - but why, o why do dog owners carefully pick up their dog's poo but then leave it in little plastic bags, either suspended from trees or just dropped by the path side? The whole area seemed to be festooned with brightly coloured plastic bags! What are people thinking of? With two small grand-daughters, I absolutely hate dog poo but it would probably be better to leave it, at least it will degrade and dissipate over time, unlike a bright blue plastic bag.

Brenda, 8/Apr/2015
5 Stars 5 Stars

I love Chopwell Woods and I am part of the Beagle group who regularly walk there, in response to the long post that Margaret put, we are respectful of forests and wooded areas, other walkers, horse riders and people including other dog walkers, we recall our dogs when we see someone who is unsure or anything else we need to be cautious of, it is after all our own dogs safety that comes first, this has been the only incident of exaggeration and upset in the 2 years our group has been in existence, we only let our beagles off who understand recall and the only dog that was aggressive towards the dog was my beagle who was on a lead when the dog approached my dog when it was 'off lead.' Its all about common sense this lady is exaggerating enormously about the situation and there was really no need to put this on this site as it has nothing to do with the woods or the forestry commission and its these type of people who give dog owners a bad name and cause disagreements with dogs as the owners body language is often the problem for their dog. We are confident and knowledgeable dog owners who will continue to walk the woods and enjoy them sensibly. Thank you forestry commission for keeping the woods clean, tidy and well maintained for us all to enjoy together.

Claire, 30/Jan/2015
4 Stars 4 Stars

Live in South Tyneside but go to Chopwell Wood a lot as its a great place to take our Border Collie who likes to investigate the woods and meet other dogs. The walks are really nice and we can be walking for a couple of hours which tires us and the dog out.

Steven, 8/Jan/2015
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.