As Scotland’s tourism sector officially re-starts under the Scottish Government’s Phase 3 route map measures, Forestry and Land Scotland has pulled out all the stops to support the sector’s recovery and opened its visitor facilities across the country.
After a Herculean effort to carry out all of the necessary health and safety checks, 95 percent of car parks, almost all visitor centres and almost all mountain bike trails will be open on 15 July.
However, anyone considering visiting an FLS site should continue to “go before they go” as our toilet facilities will begin a phased re-opening from Monday 20 July.
The FLS website front page carries a live list (which will next be updated at 9am on 15 July) of the most up-to-date information for all FLS facilities and members of the public are advised to check this before they leave home.
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.”
The majority of FLS car parks are now open, as are the majority of mountain bike trails including:
• North Scotland – Pitfichie, Moray Monster Trails, Learnie Red Rocks, Laggan Wolftrax and Contin.
• South Scotland – Glentress, Mabie, Innerleithen, Ae Forest, Dalbeattie, and at the Kirroughtree and Glentrool Visitor centres.
Visitor centres that will be open include:
• Glenmore Visitor Centre• Glentress• Glentrool Visitor Centre• Kirroughtree Visitor Centre• Queen’s View Visitor Centre
Checking the FLS website for the latest news, and using the “Our Forest” search facility, will help to ensure that a planned day out becomes a great day out.