Permits for vehicles and activities in forests

If you often visit public forests, annual permits are available for parking. Permits are also needed for horse riding and caravanning in forests.
You may need a licence if you're managing events and activities in forests. Find out more below.

Forest charges

Forest charges for particular activities in forests, annual permits, organised events, daily visits, charities and community groups as well as prices for caravanning and camping can be found at the link below:

Annual permit 

  • the permit covers the vehicle and all occupants - permits are available for cars, minibuses and motorcycles
  • for costs see forest recreation charges

Different ways to buy permits

Buy permits from Tollymore Forest Park, Castlewellan Forest Park or from Forest Service Headquarters in person or by phone. 
Hours:  Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm.
Pay over the phone by credit or debit card. 

You may also apply for an annual forest permit by email: 
Email: customer.forestservice@daera-ni.gov.uk or by post providing your name, address and contact telephone number. Forest Service will then contact you to get payment details for your annual permit.

If you prefer to post a cheque, this should be made payable to DAERA. Postal applications must not include cash. Return postal applications to Forest Service Headquarters.

60 and over

A concessionary rate is available for 60 years olds and above.  To apply for a concessionary rate send in the following details:

  • your name, address, contact telephone number
  • copies of identification like a driver's licence or medical card that has your name, address and date of birth - once your details have been checked the copy will be securely destroyed

When a concessionary permit is being presented upon entry into a charged forest recreation site it must be accompanied by a person aged 60 years or above. 

Share a permit

A permit of the same type and category may be shared between members of one household where two or more vehicles are registered and owned at the same address, as long as it's used by only one vehicle at a time and the permit is clearly displayed in the vehicle.  It allows you to visit the following forests as often as you wish:

Privacy notice

Find out how Forest Service will use and protect your personal information that you provide:

Lost or damaged permits

A charge of £10 will apply for replacing a lost or damaged permit. Keep your till or card receipt  as proof that you've paid.  

    Horse riding permit

    Information on horse riding permits is available on the following page:

    Touring in the Trees permit

    A Touring in the Trees permit runs by calendar year (1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020). The permit allows you to stay in nine touring caravan sites where you can explore the forests and surrounding countryside:

    • Castlewellan
    • Rostrevor
    • Ballypatrick
    • Glenariff
    • Springwell
    • Parkanaur
    • Kesh
    • Florencecourt
    • Drum Manor

    The forest sites are reserved for permit holders and you cannot stay for longer than three nights at one site.

    The Touring in the Trees permits for 2020 are on sale at a cost of £180.

    Due to the high demand for Touring in the Trees the number of permits is limited and will be issued on a first come first served basis.

    Postal applications should be sent to:

    Cheques should be made payable to ‘Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ and returned with your completed application form.

    Telephone applications should be made to:

    • 028 6634 3066

    Callers should have all the details on the application form at hand as well as a valid debit or credit card.

    If you have any queries or need further advice, please contact Forest Service by telephone or e-mail:

    As the number of permits is limited, permits are issued on a first come, first served basis.

    A charge of £10 will apply for replacing a lost or damaged permit. Keep your till or card receipt as proof that you've paid.

    Find out more and download an application form:

    Licence for managing events and activities

    A licence is needed if you're managing events and activities on land managed by Forest Service.  The licence application form together with advice on how to fill this form in can be found below:

    Examples of events and activities that need a licence:

    • activities where vehicles need to be taken into the forest
    • events that are competitive
    • events that will need extra car parking 
    • events that will need part of the forest closed off to protect public safety
    • event locations or activities which may damage the forest
    • events or activities where people will be charged to take part
    • filming activities including the use of drones
    • events involving the sale of food or other items
    • training and bush-craft courses and events
    • events or activities where structures or tents need to be put up

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