As lockdown rules have been relaxed slightly across the UK, many of us are enjoying being able to travel further afield and meet with family and friends in small numbers. Our woods have been open throughout the pandemic, offering local communities a space to exercise and connect with nature during this difficult time. These woods will now be welcoming even more visitors, so taking care to follow the rules is essential.

Lockdown rules across the UK

All four countries now allow small groups to meet outdoors.  In Scotland and Wales this should ideally be within 5 miles of home.

  • England: up to 6 people
  • Scotland: up to 8 from 2 households
  • Wales: any number from 2 households
  • Northern Ireland: up to 6 people.

In all cases, social distancing must be followed, with at least 2 metres between people from different households.

Read the latest government guidance on social distancing.

Things to remember when visiting our woods

Some of our car parks are still closed, mainly at larger, more popular sites. This decision has been taken where lots of visitors could make social distancing unfeasible and impact surrounding communities. We’ll be looking at each individual site to determine how and when it’s safe to reopen these car parks, taking into account government advice and how it will affect local communities.

When visiting our woods please:

  • check for car park closure information. Most car parks are now open, but it's best to check our Visiting Woods pages before travelling 
  • maintain social distancing by staying at least two metres away from other people
  • if driving, park with consideration for local residents and don’t block gateways and other access points that emergency services may need to use
  • follow recommended hygiene guidance
  • take your litter home with you.

The Woodland Trust takes the threat posed by COVID-19 extremely seriously. Read our coronavirus safety statement for more information.

Creative ways to get your nature fix

While we can now get out and about a bit more, we can still enjoy summer in our gardens and in local green spaces too. And we have lots of other ways to feel close to trees, woods and wildlife, from visual and audio tours to kids’ crafts and quizzes.

We hope you enjoy our activities, and stay safe and well this summer.