High winds in Hatfield Forest

A tree trunk snapped near the base

To ensure the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers, we close the forest when high winds are forecast. Afterwards, we need to survey the forest, to ensure that any ensuing damage is properly dealt with.

Our High Winds Policy

To ensure the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers, we will need to close the forest when there are high winds.

Our policy is to close when speeds reach gusts of 45mph or faster. Because it takes a couple of hours to close the forest, we may close in advance when we have a forecast of winds of this speed.

We close the forest by putting safety notices on the outside of all the gates into the forest instructing people not to enter; the pay-and-display machine at the main gate will be covered and the café and shop will be closed.

For your own safety, please do not come into the forest when signs are displayed saying it is closed. We will also try to alert people through our website and social media platforms to save them unnecessary journeys.

Post Storm Surveys

After a storm has passed through, we need to carry out a post-storm survey to determine that the forest is safe to enter.

High winds can cause damage to trees at high level, causing limbs and branches to fall with little or no warning.  They can also damage the structure so a whole tree will fall some time later. So, please do not enter the forest until the signs at the gates have been removed.

After a very big storm or hurricane we may need to open part of the forest only – please follow the directions of signs.

Sometimes fallen trees can be dangerous; please do not play on them.  

Because the forest is so large, we concentrate on ensuring the most-used areas are safe first.  If you spot tree damage without red and white tape on it, please keep away and let us know where it is by calling 01279 870678 so we can make it safe.