Visiting our places safely


We look after woodlands and National Nature Reserves all over Wales.

Most of these places are open for people to enjoy and we want everyone to return home safely after their visit.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

Read on for advice and tips to help you visit our places safely.

Get ready for your visit

Find out what to expect at the woodland or reserve you want to visit by checking its page on this website - do this before you set off as the mobile phone signal is unreliable in some places.

Check the weather forecast and, if you want to enjoy the sea, check the bathing water quality and tide times to reduce the risk of getting cut off.

Make sure you have everything you need including:

  • appropriate clothing and waterproofs
  • suitable footwear
  • enough food and water
  • a charged mobile phone
  • equipment for your activity

Before you leave, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back - remember that your mobile phone may not work in rural areas if you get lost or into difficulty.

Find out more

Stay safe on site

Some of our woodlands and reserves are situated in the most rural parts of Wales and others are located on remote coastlines.

Many of our forests are mixed-use sites and you may come across walkers, dogs, mountain bikes, horses or vehicles at any time.

You should:

  • be prepared for some natural hazards.
  • follow proper paths and routes.
  • be alert for vehicles using forest roads.
  • be considerate of other visitors and ready to share the space.
  • avoid cliff edges or walking on terrain where you feel unsure.
  • turn back if the weather worsens - conditions can change quickly especially on mountains.
  • beware of falling trees or branches in high winds.
  • check signs and follow advice at coastal areas - some beaches are not safe for swimming.
  • stay out of the water if in doubt - in most incidents the victim never intended to be in the water.

Pick a trail that’s right for you

There are trails for walking, running, mountain biking, cycling or horse riding in many of our woodlands and reserves.

Our trails:

  • are graded to give an indication of difficulty.
  • are waymarked with a coloured arrow or other symbol to follow from start to finish.
  • have an information panel at the start which gives the grade, waymarker colour, length and an estimate of how long the trail will take.

Please take the time to read the information panel before you set off on one of our trails.

Find out more

Be aware of forestry operations

Forestry operations take place in many of our forests and can involve large and powerful machinery.

If this work affects our waymarked trails, we provide alternative routes or diversions where possible. Sometimes we may have to close a trail to allow the work to take place safely.

Please follow any diversions to trails, even if you can’t hear or see any activity, to help ensure your safety as well as that of our staff and contractors.

Find out more

Watch our film about visiting our forests safely.

Be prepared for changes to facilities

We may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice, due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.

We may close or divert our trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.

You should always follow any instructions given by signs or local staff including any trail diversion signs.

We give information about planned trail closures and diversions or other changes to visitor facilities on this website - we recommend that you check for any changes before setting off, especially if you want to follow a particular trail.

Find out more

Find out about planned trail closures or other changes to visitor facilities at the place you want to visit by checking its page on this website.

Read advice about activities

Countryside Code

The Countryside Code has advice for countryside visitors and is your guide to enjoying parks and waterways, coast and countryside safely.

These codes give advice to keep you safe when taking part in specific activities:

  • The Dog Walking Code
  • The Trail Users Code
  • The Waterside Code
  • The Canoeing Code
  • The Angling Code
  • The Wild Swimming Code

To read any of these activity codes, go to the Countryside Code webpages.

Mountain biking

Our woodlands and forests are home to some of the most famous mountain bike trails in Britain.

Mountain biking is an exhilarating activity but the speed and obstacles that make it fun also make it hazardous. It should only be undertaken with a full understanding of all inherent risks.

Find out what trail grades mean, check out some tips for newcomers to mountain biking and read the Forest Cycle Code on our mountain biking page.

Get help in an emergency

Call for help if you or anyone in your group (including your dog) gets into difficulty or if you find someone else in trouble - don't put yourself at risk!


Call 999, ask for the Police and then the Mountain Rescue.

Inland waters

Call 999 and ask for the Fire & Rescue Service.

Sea and coastal areas

Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Contact us

Contact our incident centre to report damage to our trails or visitor facilities.


Last updated