Scotland’s forests ready to welcome back walkers and mountain bikers

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) will reopen the doors to its visitor facilities across the country tomorrow.

It will soon be time to enjoy the outdoors at Glentress Forest, near Peebles. Photo: Forestry and Land Scotland/FLS

Following the Scottish Government’s move to Phase 3 out of lockdown, FLS has carried out all of the necessary health and safety checks and almost all of its visitor centres and mountain bike trails will open again on Wednesday, July 15.

However, anyone considering a visit to a FLS site is asked to “go before they go” as public toilet facilities will not re-open until Monday, July 20.

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The majority of FLS car parks are now open, as are the majority of mountain bike trails including Pitfichie, Moray Monster Trails, Learnie Red Rocks and Ae Forest, Dalbeattie.

Visitor centres that will be open include Glenmore Visitor Centre, Glentress and Queen’s View Visitor Centre.

FLS chief Executive Simon Hodgson said: “After four months of restrictions I am sure that many people are looking forward to visiting one of our forests to help in their own mental, physical and spiritual recovery.

“Our staff have done an amazing job in getting us to the point where we are ready to welcome visitors back and I am delighted to say that now – in the new normal – we are open for business.

“However, this is a critical juncture in Scotland’s recovery. Progress to date could easily be reversed so it is vital that everyone plans ahead, has alternative options ready in case they arrive at a site that is already too busy and that they follow the latest Scottish Government guidance.

“In supporting this approach we will be implementing physical distancing in our visitor centres and will also require that anyone entering wears a face mask.

“We look forward to welcoming people back to our forests, our mountain bike trails and our visitor centres. Please remember to be considerate of each other and of our staff so that everyone can continue to stay safe and enjoy great days out.”

For more information or updates on reopening dates visit here.