Expansion Plans for Gisburn Forest

Published on: Apr 26 2011 by Jon Swift

Forestry CommissionAmbitious plans are being drawn up to significantly improve visitor facilities at Gisburn Forest. The popularity of the trails has meant the existing car park has been swamped (try parking on a sunny Sunday morning and you’ll see what I mean) and the sheer numbers of visitors means toilets are now a requirement (Tim’s septic tank at the D & P can only hold so much).

Planning permission is currently being sought from Ribble Valley Borough Council and discussions are underway to make sure the plans fit in with forest environment.

Stephen ParkThe new developments are due to situated close to Stephen Park, further into the forest than the existing car park at Cocklett Hill. The plans include a 100 space car park, toilets, space for a temporary catering van (there are additional plans for a cafe in Stephen Park at a later date), a new trailhead and additional trails. The additional trails will include singletrack to link the new carpark into the existing trails network and more excitingly there’s proposals for a new skill areas on the down slope behind the car park with blue, red and black graded trail sections.

Stephen Park in Gisburn ForestThe downside is there’s no funding earmarked for the development at the moment but getting the planning permissions agreed is the first vital step to getting things moving at Gisburn. Ironically lack of planning permission meant Gisburn missed out on a significant funding opportunity last year. Hopefully more opportunities will present themselves this year, the popularity and success of the new trails at Gisburn have been noted by a good number of people so there’s every chance we could see work start in the next 12 months. More will be posted up here including plans as soon as it’s confirmed.

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