Gisburn Car Parking Charges

Published on: Jan 18 2014 by Jon Swift

Gisburn Parking Meter

It's taken awhile (won't bore you with the details) but parking charges are now fully in force at Gisburn Forest in all the car parks. The meters in School Lane, Cocklett Hill and The Hub went live just before Christmas with annual passes becoming available on line this week.

It costs £3.00 to park all day in any of the car parks with a reduce rate of £1.50 for stays of an hour or less (just enough time to do a lap of the bottom loop or drop into the Forest Den cafe for a coffee and slab of cake).

All funds from the car parking charges will go back into the local management of the mountain bike trails and new facilities (see below for details of these) so you know when you pay you're supporting the trails you are riding rather than filling the national Forestry Commission coffers.

The machines only take coins so bring some change (we asked about making them accept cards but the extra infrastructure required to hook the machines up to the phone network cost too much). The charges are in force 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year so that means you do still need to pay for quiet night rides (you're still using the trails after all).

Gisburn discovery pass logo

For those of you who ride regularly you can buy and annual discovery pass from the Forestry Commission website. Annual passes cost £30, so if you plan on visiting more than ten times in the year you're quids in and are cheaper than the passes for other forests like Grizedale or Whinlatter that cost £40. Passes can be bought at any time of the year and are valid for twelve months from when they are bought. You can register two vehicles to each pass bought and can transfer the pass between vehicles, the FC will even provide 2 free permit holders if you ask nicely (you can't park both vehicles at the same time though! If you need to take both vehicles you'll need to buy a second pass or parking ticket on the day). More details of the scheme can be found on the FC website in the FAQ section.

Volunteer trail builders parking pass 2013

If you still don't fancy paying you can earn a free parking pass by helping with the trail building. Hours logged this year will count towards a pass in 2015. Anyone who has clocked up 12 hours (3 dig days) or more gets an annual pass to park at Gisburn. For those that clock up twenty hours or more (5 dig days) a parking pass covering Gisburn, Hamsterly, Kielder, Whinlatter and Grizedale is provided(you can't buy these and buying the individual passes would set you back a whopping £150). Bargain really.

If you want to come and help build the trails at Gisburn you'd be very welcome. Dig days are scheduled for the second Sunday in each month (next planned dig day will be Sunday the 9th of February). Everything is provided except your lunch. If you ride regularly at Gisburn it's now doubly worth your time as you get to help design the trails and now get free parking. If you want more details and to be put on the mailing list email Jon Swift at or take a look at the Gisburn volunteers page on the PMBA site.

Final point on the parking, PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE ROAD OR BLOCK ANY OF THE ACCESS GATES. Just because a gate doesn't look like it's being used doesn't mean it's not needed to rescue an injured rider. Please also note there is no legal access to the forest from the Dog & Partridge. The track leading into the forest is privately owned (not by the FC) and the only access rights on the track are on foot (it's a footpath not a bridleway). The land owner is not happy about riders accessing the forest that way. Indiscriminate parking either in Tosside or on the lane is likely to wind up the locals as well. As said above money from the parking will go back into the trails and support the volunteers. Significant money is already spent from the annual budget to provide materials and pay for contractors to move gravel to build locations which makes the volunteers job a lot easier so they can concentrate on building trails rather the moving gravel. The money from the parking will make the trails more sustainable going forward.

New Faciltities - Posh Toilets

In the original plans submitted for the hub car park there was an intention to site a temporary toilet block permanently on site. This got vetoed by the people funding the developments (in a good way) who said they didn't want to spoil all the improvements in facilities by sticking a nasty toilet block in the middle. So funding has been secured and planning approved for a permanent stone built toilet block. Waiting for this to happen was one of the many reasons for delaying the introduction of the parking charges so that those that don't ride in the forest also got some benefit from paying.

Gisburn new toilet block

Work has now started on the toilets between the hub carpark and the Forest Den cafe, please take care when riding through this area and use the diversionary routes put in place for your safety.

Gisburn toilets location plan

The toilets will be stone built with a glass front (porch not cubicles!). They are being built on the surfaced area at the end of the car park where you exit to get onto the trails. There will be three cubicles for ladies, one disabled cubicle and one for men plus a separate room with three urinals. Unfortunately no showers but to be honest you usually get wet enough riding at Gisburn anyway. There has been talk of bike washing facilities but we don't have any detail on that at the moment.

This latest investment is the final piece in the jigsaw to making Gisburn a fully fledged trail centre with all mod cons. All this has been done through the determination and effort of the Gisburn FC team and in particular the Beat Forester, Martin Colledge.

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