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School use licences

We encourage the use of the Forest by schools; however, to help to ensure pupils’ safety we may require you to apply for a licence if you're planning certain activities in the Forest.

Please note, all use of the Forest is subject to our byelaws and you are responsible for learning and following these rules. If you'd like guidance on this, please contact Epping Forest.

If you want to use our sports facilities for a school sports day, please see our sports licences page.

If you're looking to book a guided educational tour of one of our sites, please see our learning pages.

Please read on if you're planning a visit or outdoor education activity in Epping Forest.

Occasional visits by schools

Schools and educational groups are welcome to make occasional visits or walk in the Forest. There is no charge for this; however we do ask that you contact us as far in advance as possible with details of the general area you will be visiting. This is so that we can keep you informed of any works that may impact on your visit.

If you are making regular (weekly or more) to the Forest and intend to remain in one location for the majority of the time, please see our information for Forest schools below.

Use of toilets

Schools are welcome to use all of our public toilets, however, if you are scheduling a stop to use the toilets at our visitor centre at Chingford we do request that you call in advance on 020 7332 1911 to agree the best timing. This is to ensure that you don't clash with other school use, group visits, or other activities planned.

Please note, our changing facilities at Wanstead Flats are not public toilets and can only be used subject to staffing, and with the additional charge specified. If you're intending to use this facility, please contact us.

Forest schools and outdoor education activities

Increasingly, schools are using the Forest as an outdoor classroom. We support education about the outdoors and nature conservation; however, as we're required to perform tree safety surveys and risk assessments in areas subject to prolonged use or group use, you do need to apply for a license to hold these activities.

Applying for outdoor education activities

For all activities, whether run by a school or a privately run body, we require you to complete a General Licence Application Form (122KB). As part of your application, you should:

  • make it clear what type of course you are running; whether a formal Forest school run to the Forest School Association good practice guidelines or an informal outdoor activity or bushcraft
  • clearly state which area of the Forest you are considering to use

We will also require you to submit the following alongside your application:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Risk assessments to cover the location being used
  • Risk assessments covering first aid and safeguarding
  • Details on your ratio of practitioners to learners
  • Evidence of a relevant qualification (Level 3 or above accredited qualification)
  • Site plan for the area you plan to use

Once complete, please submit your application to us by email.

Basic fees

  • Administration fee: £25
  • Ticket fee: 5% of fee charged per pupil

Survey fees

Please be aware that we will encourage you to make use of areas which are already regularly surveyed by us, or open areas that avoid the need for tree safety assessments.

If you wish to make regular use of a location in the Forest that is not regularly used for these activities, we may need to conduct surveys and risk assessments. Please note, the staff cost of this is at least £1000 - therefore please do discuss your intentions with us in advance.


If we determine that particular areas are already being used to capacity by other Forest schools or activities, we may suggest you find an alternative location or else deny your licence application. We will aim to prioritise schools for whom this is the nearest open space, and where sustainable transport is used.


For details of how we make decisions concerning your application, and the terms and conditions you're expected to follow as a licensee, please see our events policy documents:

02 May 2018
Last Modified:
02 September 2019