Camp sites urged to reopen to prevent people pitching up in the wild

Hayley Dixon
·2-min read
People are finally allowed to go camping this weekend but some sites will remain closed
People are finally allowed to go camping this weekend but some sites will remain closed

Campsites across the country have been urged to open to visitors amid fears that people will set up their tents in the wild anyway.

Forestry England, which manages woodland owned by the Government, has urged sites to open this weekend in an attempt to reduce anti-social behaviour.

It comes after beauty spots across the country have been blighted by litter, illegal raves and reports of anti-social behaviour during the coronavirus lockdown.

Last weekend, when overnight stays were still banned, 200 people were fined for wild camping in the Lake District and 20 people fined for having a party on a fell.

It is feared that the situation could get worse on Super Saturday as people are finally allowed to travel to go on holiday.

However, some sites will remain closed including Camping in The Forest, which runs 15 campsites across the country and has announced it will not open until 2021.

The company, which uses land managed by Forestry England but is independent, said that it was an “extremely difficult decision” but it is “not viable to re-open the campsites from a safety, operational and financial perspective for the remainder of this year.”

But Forestry England called on them to “take the time to quickly review and reconsider” the decision.

A spokesperson said: “We are very aware of people’s concerns about the anti-social behaviour we are seeing already in our Forests and fears that closed campsites might increase this.

“We are urgently talking to other forest organisations, landowners and local stakeholders to find ways to work together to limit wild camping and other anti-social use of the Forest."

Fire chiefs have also repeatedly warned of the dangers of having BBQs and bonfires which can get out of control.

Camping in the Forest said it had no further comment to make after the pleas of Forestry England.